There are so many diseases in the world that the scientists cannot recognize the roots of. Heart diseases fit this category. For many years there has not been found a universal reason of their development. But luckily today the scientists seem to find the cause.
Image Credit: clevelandheartlab.com
Heart disease is a change in the work of the heart that leads to unpleasant consequences and even death. The basis for the development of any heart disease is the atherosclerotic lesion of the coronary arteries, which causes their narrowing. Often, atherosclerosis of the arteries is accompanied by acute thrombosis of the affected area of a vessel, causing complete or partial cessation of blood supply to the corresponding area of the heart muscle. The main question is “What is the cause of atherosclerosis”?
It is a very spread opinion that atherosclerosis occurs due to the consumption of food rich in cholesterol. But actually this statement is not right. Our liver produces about 80 per cent of cholesterol in the body and only 20 per cent of it comes to our body with the food we eat. But it does not mean that we should run to the shop and buy fatty food. The recent study has revealed that such products still raise our chances to get a heart disease, but in a slightly different way.
Your body is under the influence of TMAO
The research conducted by an American scientist Stanley Hazen proved that the health of our heart depends on the level of a special compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide in our guts. Trimethylamine-N-oxide or just TMAO is the substance that is generated by the body during digestion of licithin. Lecithin is fat-like organic substance, a complex of phospholipids. Lecithin can be found in such products as meat and eggs. (For more information visit). The formation of TMAO in the body depends on the state of the microflora of our guts. TMAO is produced by intestinal bacteria in the process of digesting of animal products and accumulated in the blood plasma.
How can TMAO affect your heart?
The presence of TMAO in the blood makes the vessels more rigid and promotes the formation of cholesterol plaques. A high level of TMAO is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease even when there are no other risk factors. Experts believe that the level of TMAO in blood can serve as an accurate marker for predicting the risk of heart attack, stroke, and early cardiovascular death.
The study was conducted by Stanley Hazen and his colleagues both in America and Switzerland. There were two groups of volunteers: the first was a group of 530 people from America who had problems with functioning of their heart. The second group was a group of 1600 people from Switzerland who did not have any heart diseases.
All the participants were under the supervision of a doctor for several years. The factors that the researchers paid a special attention to were the following: myocardial infarction, stroke, death as a result of cardiovascular events in particular, heart surgery.
The results showed that people with high content of TMAO were two times more likely to die because of heart disease.
Although, the study showed that TMAO is connected with the development of heart diseases, many scientists are skeptical about it. Still, experts need more information about the influence of this substance on the heart of a person to claim that it can really cause the appearance of a heart disease. As there is no such information now, we have to take care of our health and heart and be careful with the food that can raise the level of TMAO in our blood. And in this case according to the study the risk of getting a heart disease will be lowered significantly.
Trimethylamine N-Oxide: The Good, the Bad and the Unknown – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
The Gut, the Heart, and TMAO – ClevelandHeartLab.com
Quick, easy blood test for gut bacteria can predict accurately risk of death, heart problems in heart attack patients – ScienceDaily.com
Cardiovascular biology: Gut microbes raise heart-attack risk – Nature.com