Should we be concerned about high choline plant-based foods like broccoli, which produce the same toxic TMAO that comes from eating high choline animal foods like eggs?
Choline- and carnitine-rich foods – meat, eggs, and dairy products – can be converted to trimethylamine by our intestinal flora, which is then converted in our livers to TMAO, a toxic compound that increases our risk of heart failure, kidney failure. and atherosclerosis or heart attack and stroke. The good news, however, is that this “opens up exciting new nutritional and interventional perspectives for prevention,” as I discuss in my video How to Reduce Your TMAO Levels.
Ok how do we do this? Well, if our intestinal bacteria can ingest meat, dairy products and eggs and turn them into TMAO, all we have to do is … destroy our intestinal flora! We could give People take antibiotics to eliminate the production of TMAO. However, this could also kill our good bacteria and “facilitate the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains”.
What about probiotic supplements? Maybe if we Add Good bacteria, they will crowd out those that ingest meat, egg and dairy products and turn them into TMA, which our liver turns into TMAO. But it does not work. Adding good bacteria doesn’t seem to get rid of the bad ones. What if we added new bacteria that could somehow suck out the TMA made by the bad bacteria? Well there is a bacterium in the intestines of cows and sheep that turns Trimethylamine in methane. Could we to use this bacterium to remove some of the trimethylamine from our intestines, like a cow dung transplant? There is a problem associated with this. If it weren’t necessary, you would have to pass it on to the people: “Continuous administrations may be necessary if the subjects are not colonized.” So could the fact that consumer reviews found Faecal contamination in every sample of beef tested is a good thing? No. Methane producing bacteria can potentially eat our TMAO, but unfortunately, these bacteria can be connected with with a variety of diseases, from gum disease to colon cancer as you can see in mine at 2:15 pm Video.
Unless antibiotics and probiotics prevent gut bacteria from converting meat, dairy products and eggs into trimethylamine, which our liver makes TMAO, we probably have no choice but to… reduce our liver function!
That was the billion dollar answer to cholesterol. The same foods – meat, dairy products, and eggs – raise our cholesterol, but changing our diet is not very profitable. So the pharmaceutical industry developed statin drugs that cripple the enzyme in the liver that produces cholesterol. Could “pharmacological inhibition” of the enzymes in our liver that make up TMAO “possibly serve as a therapy for CVD? [cardiovascular disease] Risk Reduction “? Trimethylaminuria is a genetic condition in which this enzyme is naturally impaired and in which a trimethylamine builds up in the blood. The problem is, trimethylamine is so smelly that it makes you odor like “dead fish”. So, “Given the known side effects … of patients with fish odor syndrome, the unpleasant odor side effects of inhibiting this enzyme do it’s less attractive [drug] Target.”
Do we have to decide whether we smell like dead fish or have heart and kidney disease? If only there was another way, we could prevent this process. What often do people with trimethylaminuria do to lower trimethylamine levels? they Stop eat animal products.
About a third of those who do complain Having bad body odor despite good personal hygiene test positive for the condition, but reducing or eliminating your intake of meat, eggs and dairy products can be a real lifesaver. Given what we now know about how toxic the end product TMAO can be to ordinary people, reducing animal products can not only save the social lives of people with a rare genetic disorder, but also help save everyone else’s actual lives save.
The “easiest point of intervention” is to simply limit the consumption of foods that are rich in choline and L-carnitine. This can be “an effective strategy to limit circulating TMAO”. But wait! We could always try to genetically manipulate a bacterium like this eats to trimethylamine, but “the simplest and safest recommendation” can only be to eat healthier. You can eliminate carnitine from your diet entirely as our bodies do everything we need, but choline is an essential nutrient so we need something. Fortunately, we can get everything we need in terms of fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts. “However, it can be worthwhile to avoid excess choline, such as is found in eggs.”
We need Concern about plant foods high in choline like broccoli? Consumption of cruciferous vegetables has been linked to significantly longer lifespans and lower mortality from cardiovascular disease, as you can see in my 5:34 PM article Video. To see what was going on, researchers took the vegetables highest in choline, Brussels sprouts and had people eat two cups a day for three weeks. What happened? Her TMAO levels actually went down. It turns out that Brussels sprouts naturally downregulate the TMAO liver enzyme – not enough to make you smelly, but just enough to make TMAO drop.
And people who eat entirely plant-based are not allowed to do so do a TMAO at all – even if you try. You can give a vegan a steak that has both choline and carnitine in it and there won’t even be a bump in TMAO since vegetarians and vegans have different gut microbe communities. If we don’t eat steak, then we don’t promote the growth of steak-eating bacteria in our intestines. So forget the cow – how about a fecal transplant from a vegan? From a TMAO standpoint, as long as we poop like one, we may not have to eat like a vegan.
Can you feel my frustration as I read paper by paper and propose these ridiculous (but profitable!) Answers as the safe, simple, side effect-free solution stared you in the face all the time? I am thinking of so many parallels, not least of all:
For more information on TMAO, the “smoking weapon” for interactions between diet, microbiome and disease, please visit:
Michael Greger, MD
PS: If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to my free videos Here and check out my live presentations: