Health News

Rebuttal to NY Times article: Culprit in Heart Disease Goes Beyond Meats Fat

grilled meatOk- so now we are being told it is not the fat and cholesterol in the meat that causes heart disease, rather it the compound TMAO, produced from an amino acid L Carnitine.

In a study, published online in Nature Medicine, Dr. Stanley Hazen of The Cleveland Clinic found that after the consumption of red meat, there was increase in a chemical called TMAO, which increased the likelihood of developing heart disease. When the vegetarians were given meat, the carnitine was not converted into TMAO. The conversion of carnitine to TMAO was observed to be caused by bacteria in the colon. When the subjects were given antibiotics, which destroyed all the bowel bacteria, and then fed meat, some of the L-carnitine from meat converted to TMAO. This clearly proved the conversion was in the colon by the bacteria.

So why vegetarians fed meat did not convert? The answer may lie in a recent study published in Nature, which showed that certain probiotics, the “good bacteria” destroyed TMAO production. In addition, nitrous oxide was increased with the probiotics which dilates blood vessels and may prevent heart disease.

However, it is probable that vegetarians eat more foods that contain healthy bacteria, thus not producing TAMO

Rather than vilify meat again, or the abundantly important L-carnitine, vital for kidney and heart function, why not emphasize the importance of more vegetables and sugar free yogurt in the diet for cardiac protection?