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  #1   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 13:00
tomsey tomsey is offline
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Default New Heart Disease Culprit: Red Meat and TMAO

"The researchers had come to believe that what damaged hearts was not just the thick edge of fat on steaks, or the delectable marbling of their tender interiors. In fact, these scientists suspected that saturated fat and cholesterol made only a minor contribution to the increased amount of heart disease seen in red-meat eaters. The real culprit, they proposed, was a little-studied chemical that is burped out by bacteria in the stomach after people eat red meat. It is quickly converted by the liver into yet another little-studied chemical called TMAO that gets into the blood and increases the risk of heart disease."

"That, at least, was the theory. So the question that morning was: Would a burst of TMAO show up in peoples’ blood after they ate steak? And would the same thing happen to a vegan who had not had meat for at least a year and who consumed the same meal?"

The answers were: yes, there was a TMAO burst in the five meat eaters and no, the vegan did not have it. And TMAO levels turned out to predict heart attack risk in humans, the researchers found. The researchers also found that TMAO actually caused heart disease in mice. Additional studies with 23 vegetarians and vegans and 51 meat eaters showed that meat eaters normally had more TMAO in their blood and that they, unlike those who spurned meat, readily made TMAO after swallowing pills with carnitine.

But the investigators’ extensive experiments in both humans and animals, published Sunday in Nature Medicine, have persuaded scientists not connected with the study to seriously consider this new theory of why red meat eaten too often might be bad for people.

Dr. Frank Sacks, a professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at the Harvard School of Public Health, called the findings impressive. “I don’t have any reason to doubt it, but it is kind of amazing.”

And Lora Hooper, an associate professor of immunology and microbiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who follows the Paleo diet, heavy on meat, exclaimed, “Yikes!”


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/h...wanted=all&_r=0
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  #2   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 14:56
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
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There's more at the link, just in case anyone else wondered.
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  #3   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 15:57
Cleome's Avatar
Cleome Cleome is offline
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Default Journal article

Intestinal microbiota metabolism of l-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis
Robert A Koeth et al
Nature Medicine (2013) doi:10.1038/nm.3145

As expected: Restricted Access.

Variation in TMAO depending on intestinal microbe communities is very interesting, but I'd like to see the primary article and any evidence for TMAO being a CVD risk for humans.

The M&M would be helpful since the article cited in the supplementary materials made a huge leap from apoE-/- mice to humans:
Wang Z et al. Gut flora metabolism of phosphatidylcholine promotes cardiovascular disease. Nature, 2011; 472 (7341): 57 DOI: 10.1038/nature09922

Last edited by Cleome : Sun, Apr-07-13 at 16:16.
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  #4   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 16:09
LC FP LC FP is offline
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thanks Cleome-

I think this is a different link to the same article. Check out panel e.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journa...re09922_F3.html

So it seems that mice who have the lowest levels of TMAO have just as high of a risk of large atherosclerotic lesions as mice with high levels. Oh, yeah, this is definitely a smoking gun

On the TMAO wikipedia page it seems TMAO is primarily a problem in stinky fish.

Just more obfuscation by researchers who are looking to make a quick buck.
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  #5   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 16:25
Cleome's Avatar
Cleome Cleome is offline
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Thanks LC FP.

If I were an ApoE -/- mouse I'd be more worried about my breath -- that fishy smell might attract a housecat.
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  #6   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 20:16
M Levac M Levac is offline
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I call BS. I call propaganda. I won't even try to argue the content of the article. Imma directly attack the way this misinformation was distributed.

L-carnitine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-carnitine

The entry for carnitine is pretty old. Probably as old as Wikipedia itself since we've known about carnitine long before Wiki went live. And my guess is Wiki needed all the hard knowledge it could get to go live for credibility purpose. But look here under the carnitine entry today:
Quote:
Although carnitine is essential for cellular metabolism, a study published in 2013 indicates that it is implicated in heart disease. [8] The study found that gut bacteria use carnitine as energy, and a byproduct of that process is converted to trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) in the liver. The researchers discovered that TMAO helps cholesterol to get into artery walls, where plaque is formed, and it also impairs the body's ability to excrete excess cholesterol. They found that TMAO blood levels are a predictor of heart attacks. The carnitine itself is not the cause, but because gut bacteria use it as fuel and it eventually becomes TMAO, excess consumption of carnitine could cause heart disease. Red meat is the food that contains high levels of carnitine, but body-building and weight-loss supplements also contain considerable amounts of carnitine. These supplements commonly provide five to 10 times the amount of carnitine found in 100 grams of red meat.[9]


And look here at the publication date for the article:
Quote:
By GINA KOLATA
Published: April 7, 2013

I'm posting this on date 19:48 2013-04-07

Articles don't usually get cited on Wikipedia the same day they're published on news sites. That usually happens after some time, after the genuine contributors to Wiki go through the sources and consider their validity. This situation is not normal. This is clear indication of concerted efforts on several fronts at once. And here's what I found:

http://web.archive.org/web/20120921...iki/L-Carnitine

Here's the Wiki entry for TMAO: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trimethylamine_N-oxide
TMAO doesn't sound like such a bad thing after all. But look here:
Quote:
Recent studies show that high levels of TMAO increase the risks of cardiovascular disease. The consumption of red meat appears to be linked with people having higher TMAO levels in their bodies. [8][9]

And under reference [8], we find this:
Quote:
^ Kolata, Gina. Study Points to a New Culprit in Heart Disease. The New York Times. April 7, 2013. Accessed 2013-04-07.

Archive page: http://web.archive.org/web/20120913...ylamine_N-oxide

My conclusion is it's a concerted effort to distribute this misinformation as widely as possible, with as much credibility as possible by modifying at least 2 Wikipedia entries the same day of publication of the NYTimes/Gina Kolata article. But by whom? Three possible explanations.

1. Gina Kolata herself made the Wikipedia modifications
2. Gina Kolata is associated with the person(s) who made the Wikipedia modifications, by providing them with the URL to the NYTimes article
3. Somebody used Gina Kolata's good name and reputation without her knowledge to promote their own agenda

Any way I look at it, it makes Gina Kolata look bad. If she did not make the Wikipedia modifications herself, she must address this situation by notifying her readers of it. I sent her an email. I sent a copy of that email to the editor of the NYTimes. I'm going to send an email to Wikipedia as well to notify them of this situation. We'll see.

I wonder how many times this same situation was repeated in the past. It's no big deal to me. I know misinformation and propaganda when I see it.
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  #7   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 20:37
LC FP LC FP is offline
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Nice detective work, Martin. I hope Canadians can't get a job with the IRS...
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  #8   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 21:04
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Cleome Cleome is offline
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It is not all that unheard of for a Wikipedia article to be changed the same day a news story comes out. My guess would be zealous messengers from Vega, rather than Ms. Kolata.
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  #9   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 21:12
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Thanks. More detecting here: http://www.newsdiffs.org/diff/19707...rt-disease.html

That's one powerful website. Note the "stomach/intestines" modification. This suggests bad journalism by lack of source verification and/or lack of editorial oversight prior to first publication. Note the title modification that tells of a significantly different article content depending on which title is used. Like so:

Old: Study Points to New Culprit in Heart Disease
New: Culprit in Heart Disease Goes Beyond Meat’s Fat

Wikipedia entries for carnitine and TMAO still have the old title for the direct link. I'm just waiting for that to change in the next few hours. If that happens, well, there's gonna be little doubt at this point.

By the way, do a gugul search using either title just for kicks. It's worth it, I promise. If doubt remains after that, I give up.

Last edited by M Levac : Sun, Apr-07-13 at 21:19.
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  #10   ^
Old Sun, Apr-07-13, 21:36
M Levac M Levac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cleome
It is not all that unheard of for a Wikipedia article to be changed the same day a news story comes out. My guess would be zealous messengers from Vega, rather than Ms. Kolata.

I agree with your assessment. To be honest, it's the first time I investigated an article like that. But now that I did and considering what I found, it's going to be on my mind in the future next time I read some article that makes red meat (or anything else, even wheat and sugar) look bad. Now that this is out in the open, I anticipate it will be done like this more often as well. It's a pretty good trick. I'd do it like that too. I'd even assign somebody specifically for that if I was manager of some news outlet.
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  #11   ^
Old Mon, Apr-08-13, 02:49
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RawNut RawNut is offline
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It doesn't jibe.




A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of L-carnitine in suspected acute myocardial infarction

Quote:
"Angina pectoris (17.6 vs 36.0%), New York Heart Association class III and IV heart failure plus left ventricular enlargement (23.4 vs 36.0%) and total arrhythmias (13.7 vs 28.0%) were significantly less in the carnitine group compared to placebo. Total cardiac events including cardiac deaths and nonfatal infarction were 15.6% in the carnitine group vs 26.0% in the placebo group"


Three-year survival of patients with heart failure caused by dilated cardiomyopathy and L-carnitine administration

Quote:
"There were 6 deaths in the placebo group and 1 death in the L-carnitine group. Survival analysis with the Kaplan-Meier method showed that patients' survival was statistically significant (P <.04) in favor of the L-carnitine group. L-carnitine appears to possess considerable potential for the long-term treatment of patients with heart failure attributable to dilated cardiomyopathy"


Controlled study on L-carnitine therapeutic efficacy in post-infarction

Quote:
"L-carnitine was randomly administered to 81 patients at an oral dose of g 4/die for 12 months, in addition to the pharmacological treatment generally used. For the whole period of 12 months, these patients showed, in comparison with the controls, an improvement in heart rate (p < 0.005), systolic arterial pressure (p < 0.005) and diastolic arterial pressure (NS); a decrease of anginal attacks (p < 0.005), of rhythm disorders (NS) and of clinical signs of impaired myocardial contractility (NS), and a clear improvement in the lipid pattern (p < 0.005). The above changes were accompanied by a lower mortality in the treated group (1.2%, p < 0.005), while in the control group there was a mortality of 12.5%"



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  #12   ^
Old Mon, Apr-08-13, 06:35
M Levac M Levac is offline
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The Wiki carnitine entry has been subsequently modified to remove the direct link to the NYTimes/Gina Kolata article, however the TMAO entry still has that direct link. The carnitine entry had also been modified to include a direct link to the study itself, and that link remains. Something's happening.

I did another gugul search for the article title. There's literally dozens of links on all kinds of sites linking directly to the NYTimes article. This is an obvious mass distribution attempt, in spite of the obvious lack of validity of the information. No refutation or criticism attempts whatsoever yet. One good thing though, in that search I found two links to this very thread. On page 7 of the results. We got to get this to bloggers, point them to this thread, especially what I found in my amateur investigation. Hm, imma start with Richard Nikoley.
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  #13   ^
Old Mon, Apr-08-13, 07:39
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LilyB LilyB is offline
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Quote:
"The researchers had come to believe that what damaged hearts was "

IMO, that makes it Religion, and not science...
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  #14   ^
Old Mon, Apr-08-13, 07:42
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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What I always ask myself is, how did we get here, then? Homo sapiens sapiens. For decades it was pretty sturdy knowledge that it was protein that grew our brains... protein from MEAT.

And when you look at meat's nutritional profile... it blows away grains, and vegetables, and beans, and fruit.

I agree with M Levac and RawNut. Just does not add up.
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  #15   ^
Old Mon, Apr-08-13, 07:54
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Cleome Cleome is offline
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Since this is a direct jab at the popular supplement L-carnitine I think I'll procure a low-carb popcorn substitute and watch the show. [Or maybe something alcoholic, to deal with the lack of logic and scientific reasoning in the media.]
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