Heart Disease and the chemical TMAO connection - Part 5

Heart Disease and the chemical TMAO connection - Part 5

Another two studies showing how the amount of animal foods you eat directly raises your risk of heart disease through its negative impact on your gut health.

“This is going to be a landmark observation”
Dr. Scott Wright, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minneapolis.

“In light of this new model, disease can never be viewed in quite the same way, nor should it.  The findings suggest a host of possible novel strategies for preventing heart disease…limiting consumption of choline-rich foods.  The meta-organism comprising humans and their microbiota must be viewed as a self-contained unit of complex molecular mediators interacting with its environment to yield a functional phenotype or, in cases of dysfunction, a pathophenotype”
Dr Joseph Loscalzo, PhD, of Harvard and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

“The findings also provide an explanation for why some people are particularly susceptible to heart disease while others are not”
Dr. Sanjay Rajagopalan, a cardiologist at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

“Measuring TMAO predicted heart risk better than other blood tests or the usual risk factors, such as high blood pressurem cholesterol and smoking.  None of the risk factors for atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease attenuated the intensity of this TMAO signal - it stays really robust.  It’s all about the gut flora and TMAO - and TMAO is about cholesterol.  TMAO changes how cholesterol is metabolized.  It’s not changing the cholesterol in your blood; it’s changing how the cholesterol is being managed.  TMAO helps cholesterol attach to blood vessels.  It also makes it harder for the liver and the intestines to get rid of cholesterol.  These studies show that measuring blood levels of TMAO could serve as a powerful tool for predicting future cardiovascular risk, even for those without known risk factors.  It’s unambiguous that phosphatidylcholine gets converted into TMAO.  A vegetarian or high-fibre diet can reduce total choline intake [and therefore, TMAO levels]”
Dr Stanley Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chair of Translational Research, Chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine for the Lerner Research Institute and section head of Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation in the Miller Family Heart and Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic.

Posted: Monday 17 February 2014