Why meat eaters are hard-hearted

By digesting the meat compound, L-carnitine, the bugs generate metabolites that promote hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

While scientists had previously identified one of the danger metabolites, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), the latest research has uncovered a second, gamma-butyrobetaine, produced by the microbes at a rate 1000 times higher than TMAO formation.

Both contribute to atherosclerosis, the build-up of hard fat and mineral deposits on the walls of arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

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