Increased heart disease risk from red meat may stem from stomach bacteria

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They think this could lead to illness prevention – with treatments offsetting the damage. And they believe it should turn the focus away from saturated fat as the big danger.

The researchers followed 4,000 people aged 65-plus for up to 26 years to see who developed heart disease.

This led them to trimethylamine N-oxide (TMNO). It is produced by gut bacteria to digest red meat that contains high amounts of the chemical L-carnitine.

But high blood levels of TMNO may be linked with heart problems, chronic kidney disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Dr MengWang, of Boston’s Tufts University, told Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology journal: “Interventions may be helpful to target interactions between red meat and microbiome.”

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