Gut Microbes May Affect Heart Risk
The old red-meat debate—healthy or harmful?—is back in the news, this time with a twist. Researchers found that whether or not red meat is bad for you may depend on the bacteria that live in your intestines (some helpful, some harmful). Both red meat and egg yolks are loaded with a nutrient called L-carnitine. Researchers found that some gut microbes can convert L-carnitine from food into another more malevolent substance called TMAO, which promotes atherosclerosis and heart disease. They say these results may offer a new route to preventing heart disease: shutting down TMAO-making gut microbes.
Source: Nature Medicine, published online April 7, 2013