Consumers Beware:

A compound found in red meat and used as a supplement promotes hardening/clogging of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, a new study suggests. Apparently, bacteria in the digestive tract convert carnitine into TMAO. Previous research investigators found that TMAO promotes atherosclerosis in people. The study also found that a diet high in carnitine encourages the growth of the bacteria that metabolize the compound, leading to even higher TMAO production. The researchers looked at nearly 2,600 undergoing heart evaluations, finding an association between consistently high carnitine levels and risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and heart-related death.