RED MEAT AND HOW IT INCREASES THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE: A bit of a misleading headline in JAMA as this is not a new risk. It has been clear for decades that red meat consumption is not good for health and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. How it does this continues to be a matter of debate with a number of mechanisms at play. In this editorial from the current edition of JAMA, the role of TMAO is highlighted. The original paper describing this association in humans was published in 2013 in NEJM.
The summary is that choline and carnitine from eggs and meat is converted by the gut bacteria to TMA which is then converted to TMAO – trimethylamineoxide. TMAO seem to be directly involved in the creation of damaging artherosclerotic plaques by affecting platelet function and causing inflammation.
Sadly, some of the solutions proposed to combat this problem are to use antibiotics to kill the relevant gut bugs, probiotics and also small molecules to inhibit the action of TMAO. The common sense solution has to be to avoid or vastly limit the consumption of unprocessed and processed red meat.
Source: Plant-based health professionals