A new study released by researchers at Cleveland Clinic’s Heart and Vascular Institute has revealed that vegans have better hearts, and it’s not just in helping to reduce the amount death.
The Institute used a cardiological investigation of a group of 2595 patients, divided into three sub-groups – omnivores, lacto-ovo-vegetarians and vegans – and then assessed the levels of carnitine, TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide) and cardiovascular risk. The study showed that in people with higher levels of TMAO, higher plasma levels of carnitine, they are affiliated with an increased risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke and death.
Carnitine is a substance that is found in muscles and intervenes in the use of energy by the muscle itself. Besides being present in meats (animal muscle) it is widely used by athletes as a supplement and is even added to some “energizing” drinks. The TMAO is a product that results from the processing of carnitine by intestinal bacteria, and which could promote atherosclerosis, i.e. the appearance of thickening and hardening of the arteries. The levels of TMAO are then determined by the type of intestinal bacterial flora.
The “intestinal flora” omnivores, who take the greatest amount of carnitine, also produce higher amounts of TMAO, and this combination could be responsible for their greater cardiovascular risk. By contrast, the production of TMAO by the intestinal bacterial flora of vegetarians (lacto-ovo and vegan) turns out to be much lower carnitine and is in fact virtually absent in vegetarian diets (which is lacto-ovo vegan), and vegetarians who do not use artificial sources of carnitine in fact not in your diet, so that it does not reach the intestines produce harmful metabolites.
The human organism is able to produce only the carnitine which can be used, in the proper amount, starting also from sources vegetable then it is not an essential substance in the diet. This study showed that not only is it not necessary, but rather, the greater the quantity taken, the greater the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The researchers were able to ascertain information and results between animal fats (i.e. saturated fats and cholesterol) and cardiovascular diseases, giving backing to the possibility that other compounds are in most meats such as carnitine and its transformation products, which increase the risk of diseases related to atherosclerosis in meat eaters. This may help to explain the well-proven benefits diets that exclude meat offer to people.