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Thread: Austinites Thoughts on the Study Linking Red Meat to Heart Disease via L-Carnitine

  1. #1
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    Austinites Thoughts on the Study Linking Red Meat to Heart Disease via L-Carnitine

    For those of you not aware of this study, I will summarize it for you.

    The study states that red meat contains L-Carnitine which converts to TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide), which is the ONLY culprit behind clogged arteries, and nothing else. Furthermore, Carnitine promotes growth of bacteria that produces TMAO. And that's the link to heart disease from consuming red meat.

    Of course, as a heavy L-Carnitine user myself, I had to do some research on my own. So from the article, we can conclude that regardless of the original source, TMAO is what's causing damage. So let's look at some flaws in the study.

    WHY SINGLE OUT RED MEAT?

    So they don't want us to eat red meat. No problem. I can do that. But wait! L-Carnitine can't possibly only exist in red meat, right? Here is a list of SOME foods containing L-Carnitine:

    - Beef
    - Pork
    - Chicken
    - Milk
    - Venison
    - Lamb
    - Duck
    - Ice Cream
    - Cheese
    - Avocado
    - Asparagus

    So you see, we're looking at meats of all colors, dairy and even vegetables. Wouldn't it make more sense to study L-Carnitine in food, and IF it in fact is dangerous, to list the foods to be cautious of in order of highest content? Well, the answer is yes, to me. But to the publishers of that study, it's an obvious NO. Why? Because they can't print a study that says "Stop Eating Everything!". That wouldn't go over so well. It's human nature to develop anxiety when presented with too many things to consider. Narrowing it down to 1 or 2 items makes for a better point. Think of shopping for sunglasses, if you had to choose between 3, it's easy. But choosing between 200 sunglasses, you'd lose interest quickly.

    By the way, TMAO exists without the need for L-Carnitine. Fish belonging to the "gadoid" family, contains TMAO, such as codfish.

    L-CARNITINE IS NOT THE ONLY THING THAT RESULTS IN TMAO:

    Choline is another one. Want to know what contains Choline? It's in your fridge, you had it for breakfast... EGGS! So should we stop eating eggs? I personally think not.

    Let's have a look at more foods containing Choline:

    - Chicken
    - Turkey
    - Tomatoes
    - Brussel Sprouts
    - Scallops
    - Green Beans
    - Peas
    - Mushrooms
    - Shrimp
    - Grass-fed Beef
    - Sardines
    - Collard Greens
    - Cauliflower

    You know what else contains Choline? Lecithin. Do you know where Lecithin is used? In food, lots of foods! It's used to keep the ingredients together. It's also used by men in very high doses to increase ejaculate volume.

    THE STUDY HAS SEVERAL FLAWS:

    The study also states that regular meat eaters' gut bacteria produce a "burst" of TMAO after consuming L-Carnitine. Vegans and vegetarians' gut bacteria does not. Would you like to know how many vegan subjects this was tested on? ONE vegan. That's right, ONE person. The other 5 were all meat eaters. Furthermore; there was no mention of the condition of these subjects. No health-related reports whatsoever.

    To add to that, the study never gives details on the meat used on test subjects. They're not all made equal, you know. We would need to breakdown that study with a clear distinction between grass-fed organic meat, and concentrated feeding operations that use hormones and other injections to prevent disease and "fatten" force-fed-cattle.

    FINAL THOUGHTS:

    L-Carnitine is not only safe, but it is good for you and certainly not a cause of heart disease. The opposite, rather. Another study was done that documents a significant reduction in heart-related disease. This can be found here. There is no real evidence in the flawed-TMAO-study. Frankly, I don't think it should be called a study, but an article and personal opinion, rather.

    Carnitine is very close to the B vitamin group, it's structure however, is the reason it's labeled an Amino-Acid. L-Carnitine acts as a "Vehicle" for fatty acids, which are burned for energy. That's its main purpose. This is why it's marketed so much as a major energy source, and the "malate" version is used widely and in high doses by athletes.

    The reason it's used as part of a fat-loss diet is because it uses your fat for energy. It great for your muscles, too. Muscular dystrophy has been associated with it's deficiency.

    Carnitine is produced by the body if your tissue contains sufficient amounts of B1, Lysine, iron and more... which a lot don't, making supplementation necessary.

    I will continue to consume 3000 mg of L-Carnitine daily. As I have been for many years.
    ~ PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR SOURCE CHECKS ~

    "It's human nature in a 'more is better' society full of a younger generation that expects instant gratification, then complain when they don't get it. The problem will get far worse before it gets better". ~ kelkel

  2. #2
    Giggle's Avatar
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    Thanks Austinite - that was a well-written rebuttal of the first study (do you have a link for it by any chance?).
    As far as the second article - that's a great one. Not just any study, but a systematic review and meta-analysis of 13 studies that included the results of 3629 patients. It showed that all-cause mortality dropped by 27% - that's good enough for me.
    Glad you posted this up.

  3. #3
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    http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v19...l/nm.3145.html

    ^ That's the original. They want you to buy it. But I'll see if I can find that PDF that leaked.
    ~ PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR SOURCE CHECKS ~

    "It's human nature in a 'more is better' society full of a younger generation that expects instant gratification, then complain when they don't get it. The problem will get far worse before it gets better". ~ kelkel

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    That's OK, I'll try to get it at work. Interesting

  5. #5
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    Well im a big fan of red meat and will continue to eat it. There's many others things out there that contribute to heart disease

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