Friday, April 26, 2013

Eggs, Too, May Provoke Bacteria to Raise Heart Risk

For the second time in a matter of weeks, a group of researchers reported a link between the food people eat and bacteria in the intestines that can increase the risk of heart attacks.
The lecithin study, published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, is part of a growing appreciation of the role the body’s bacteria play in health and disease. With heart disease, investigators have long focused on the role of diet and heart disease, but expanding the scrutiny to bacteria adds a new dimension.
Heart disease perhaps involves microbes in our gut,” said the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Stanley Hazen, chairman of the department of cellular and molecular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute. 
To show the effect of eggs on TMAO, Dr. Hazen asked volunteers to eat two hard-boiled eggs. They ended up with more TMAO in their blood. But if they first took an antibiotic to wipe out intestinal bacteria, eggs did not have that effect.
To see the effects of TMAO on cardiovascular risk, the investigators studied 4,000 people who had been seen at the Cleveland Clinic. The more TMAO in their blood, the more likely they were to have a heart attack or stroke in the ensuing three years. 

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