Bacteria in Stomach Causing Meat and Eggs Harmful for Heart

Meat and eggs are often considered to increase the risk of heart disease due to high cholesterol content. The new study actually revealed that bacteria in the body of men that makes meat and egg harmful to the heart.

The discovery made by Dr. Stanley Hazen, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic revealed that carnitine, a naturally occurring chemical found in red meat, may increase the risk of heart disease. This risk arises not directly, but after going through the process in the digestive system, a case cited from Medical Daily, Saturday (27/04/2013).

Disclosed in the New England Journal of Medicine that the lecithin contained in egg yolks, red meat, liver, soybeans, wheat, nuts, and milk. If you eat these foods, it will be broken down by the system lecithin in body become choline. Bacteria in the digestive tract will consume choline and process it into a chemical called TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide).

TMAO is known to increase the risk of heart disease and hardening of the arteries, also called atherosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis will lead to the risk of heart attack and stroke.

To find the relationship TMAO levels in heart attack directly, researchers recruited 4,000 people who had undergone angiography. TMAO levels were taken and patients were followed for 3 years.

The researchers found that respondents with higher levels of TMAO 2 times higher risk was also higher for heart attack, stroke or death compared with those who had low levels of TMAO.

But keep in mind when respondents were given strong antibiotics, which will eliminate a particular intestinal bacteria, TMAO levels they never go up. This greatly affects the bacteria that produce TMAO. With these results the researchers will be studying a certain species or strains of bacteria that cause increased production of TMAO and search for a vaccine.