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Carnitine, Choline, Cancer and Cholesterol: The TMAO Connection

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Published on Apr 26, 2013

Subscribe to Dr. Greger’s free nutrition newsletter at http://www.nutritionfacts.org/subscribe and get a free excerpt from his latest NYT Bestseller HOW NOT TO DIE. (All proceeds Dr. Greger receives from the sales of his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements go to support the 501c3 nonprofit that runs NutritionFacts.org.)

DESCRIPTION: Expanding on the subject of my upcoming appearance on The Dr. Oz Show, a landmark new article in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that choline in eggs, poultry, dairy and fish produces the same toxic TMAO as carnitine in red meat, which may help explain plant-based protection from heart disease and prostate cancer.

It was such an honor to be on The Dr. Oz Show last week. It's expected to air during sweeps week next month. I'll announce the date on the NutritionFacts.org Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/NutritionFac...).

The TMAO story is such a fascinating twist. It helps explain, for example, Harvard's Meat and Mortality Studies (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/harva...). The role of the inflammatory "foam" cells (so-called because they're so packed with cholesterol they look foamy under a microscope) affected by TMAO is explained in my video series that starts with Arterial Acne (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/arter...) and Blocking the First Step of Heart Disease (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/block...).

When I say we normally make all the carnitine we need, there's a rare genetic inborn error of metabolism that affects as many as 1 in 40,000 births, which can result in a need for dietary carnitine. Learn more in my video When Meat Can Be a Lifesaver (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/when-...).

What does carnitine do? It's involved in energy production in the mitochondria ("power plants") in our cells. The enzyme that uses carnitine to help us burn fat, carnitine palmitoyl transferase, is actually upregulated by about 60% in those eating meat-free diets, which may help explain why those eating plant-based diets tend to be slimmer. More details in my video How to Upregulate Metabolism (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-t...).

The prebiotic videos I feature are Fawning Over Flora (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/fawni...) and Boosting Good Bacteria in the Colon Without Probiotics (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/boost...), though other videos describing the beneficial products our friendly flora make from the plants we eat include:

· Flaxseeds & Breast Cancer Prevention (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flaxs...)
· Flax and Fecal Flora (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/flax-...)
· Sometimes the Enzyme Myth Is True (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/somet...)

And for another behind-the-curtain peek at the egg industry, see Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/eggs-...) and Egg Industry Blind Spot (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/egg-i...).

Have a question for Dr. Greger about this video? Leave it in the comment section at http://nutritionfacts.org/video/carni... and he'll try to answer it!

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