Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-Carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis.

L-carnitine, a major component of red meat, may increase an individual’s susceptibility to cardiovascular disease, such as atherosclerosis, and adverse cardiac events, such as stroke and myocardial infarction.

Red meat is a major source of L-carnitine, which is metabolized to the pro-atherogenic agent trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) by bacteria in the small intestine. This study examined the relationship between the consumption of dietary L-carnitine and atherosclerosis risk. Researchers measured the serum concentrations of L-carnitine in 2595 human subjects undergoing cardiac evaluation and in mice fed with either choline, carnitine, or TMAO supplements.

Researchers discovered that the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as atherosclerosis, and suffering from adverse cardiac events, such as stroke and myocardiac infarction, was high in human subjects and animals with plasma levels of L-carnitine and TMAO. The findings of this study support the hypothesis that regular ingestion of large quantities of red meat may increase cardiovascular morbidity and mortality risk , as well as promote the occurrence of adverse cardiac events.

 

Research Summary Information

  • 2003
  • Robert A. Koeth, Zeneng Wang,Bruce S. Levison, Jennifer A. Buffa, Elin Org, Brendan T. Sheehy, Earl B. Britt, Xiaoming Fu, Yuping Wu, Lin Li, Jonathan D. Smith, Joseph A. DiDonato, Jun Chen, Hongzhe Li, Gary D. Wu, James D. Lewis, Manya Warrier, J. Mark Brown, Ronald M. Krauss, W. H. Wilson Tang, Frederic D. Bushman, Aldons J. Lusis, and Stanley L. Hazen
  • Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA Center for Cardiovascular Diagnostics and Prevention, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA Department of Medicine/Division of Cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90095, USA Department of Mathematics, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, Ohio 44115, USA Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA Department of Microbiology, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA Division of Gastroenterology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA Department of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA Department of Pathology, Section on Lipid Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA 94609, USA Address for Correspondence: Stanley L. Hazen, MD PhD, Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, NC-10, Cleveland, OH 44195, Phone: (216) 445-9763, Fax: (216) 636-0392, Email: gro.fcc@snezah
  • Yes, Free full text of study was found:
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