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-   -   TMAO (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/main-lowcarb-lobby/802997-tmao.html)

dBailey 04-28-2013 10:40 AM

I saw a news story last night about that substance, seemingly a by product of particularly meat, cheese and egg consumption (my favorites) that they said is bad for the heart...anyone have their blood tested for that or have other info?

Mistizoom 04-28-2013 11:34 AM

This was discussed a few weeks ago:


ravenrose 04-28-2013 11:36 AM

I think it's too early to test or do anything about this. It's interesting and too bad. But we have to eat SOMETHING, you know? *sigh*

SweetMe678 04-28-2013 12:01 PM

I looked up the two recent studies.

One concluded that there "IS" a link between higher levels of TMAO and hardening of the arteries in those who have already had a major adverse cardiovascular event. They concluded this by testing the blood of 4007 people 3 years after such an event. Those with the highest levels, had the most problems.
To me there are still a lot of questions, such as, what else is in their diet? What about people who have had NO major cardiovascular event? I mean 4000 people is a good sample, BUT it is just a correlation, not a direct link necessarily. An example, would be, The more I gain weight, the more grey hair I have, so there MUST be a link between grey hair and weight gain right? But I believe in my case it is genetic, both of my parents and 3 grandparents were grey very early in life, and only 2 of the 5 were overweight.

I almost want to discount the other study, just because it was funded by a major pharmaceutical who has the patent rights for any drug they develop from the study or any follow ups.
I couldn't access the full manuscript, but it seems that they fed mice L-carnatine (there is a lot in red meat) and there is higher levels of TMA and TMAO in those whose digestive flora was not suppressed by antibiotics. This at least shows a direct link between L-carnatine consumption and higher levels of TMA and TMAO, in mice. Although the mice were not fed red meat, they were fed a meal with added L-carnatine.
My problem with ANY study funded with rights, by a pharmaceutical is that there is a trend of developing high cost drugs, that aren't necessary to a person's health. Also because I could not access the full manuscript, I was unable to see how much L carnatine they fed the mice for how long, etc.

My opinion ~ I'm gonna keep eating meat and eggs. I have always had good bloodwork, and eaten LOTs of red meat all my life. :D

Geekin' in Utah 04-28-2013 07:16 PM

These kinds of studies show correlation, but correlation is not causation.

So, people with more TMAO have increased hardening of their arteries, and the media starts screaming it will kill you. This is a correlation. But all this has done is generated a hypothesis: TMAO causes arterial plaque. Until you take a group and say, "some get more TMAO, some get less, and some get 'normal', you can't prove causation.

Until then, it could be any number of factors. Maybe bad marriages cause heart disease and meat consumption causes bad marriages. TMAO then has nothing to do with it, other than being an indicator of bad marriages.

Most nutritionists and almost all journalists missed this extremely important lesson in what is a foundational principle of science. It affected the Seven Countries study that gave us low fat, it affected the studies that taught us high cholesterol foods cause heart disease, and it is a major factor of the China Study, which espouses no animal protein at all.

Any news you hear that says "we followed 2000 people for ten years" falls into this bucket. Cohort studies generate hypotheses, but they prove nothing.

NineOhNine 04-28-2013 07:46 PM

There's a list somewhere on-line of foods supposedly high in TMAO. Salmon is higher on that list than red meat. Good old, "heart healthy" salmon. I think this is just another red herring, if you'll pardon the pun.

Strawberry 04-28-2013 08:00 PM

BTW, if you Google search, there have also been some recent studies about gut bacteria possibly being a cause (or contributing factor) to obesity. That is was the bacteria themselves (nevermind meat) that were causing a problem.

And when they did gastric bypass surgery on patients, it changed their gut bacteria populations (probably something about the food and stomach acid/pancreatic juices entering at different points post op and affecting how the bacteria could grow and metabolize food)... so they theorized that perhaps part of the effect of the surgery in aiding weight loss was due to the change in gut bacteria.

They also talked about how possibly, someday in the future, they could develop a pill of probiotics to change the gut bacteria to help weight loss.

I think this stuff is interesting, but at this point, we just dont know enough about it to start making major decisions about our diets based on the available info.

We DO know that getting your weight down to normal range - by ANY diet, including low carb - will definitely reduce your risks of strokes and heart attacks. So I think most people should focus on that, not nitpicking over whether a steak is going to kill them.

Frankly, I hardly ever eat red meat or pork products (just doesnt tickle my tastebuds - I prefer chicken and fish and esp salmon).... so you can still do lowcarb very easily and never touch red meat if you want to.

Geekin' in Utah 04-28-2013 09:05 PM

The gut bacteria thing is interesting. If I recall correctly, they did some gut biota transfers from "healthy" to obese people and saw an improvement in their flora. Note that these bacteria make the trip between hosts in feces. Want a poo pill? :) After the transfer, the recipients saw improvement in health markers.

This is a good example of how science should work: cohort studies identified that there was a difference in gut flora between sick and healthy people. A hypothesis was generated, and then tested.

DiamondDeb 04-28-2013 09:34 PM

I admit I did not read much on this subject when I Googled ...once I caught a few choice words by a few reputable people I was satisfied it is nothing to be concerned about.

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