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Should you worry about TMAO in eggs ?
In recent years, the stance on cholesterol, as the nutrient non grata has softened….
Evidence of this, is the fact that eggs have officially been put back on the list of acceptable. Okay, that’s not the exact terminology that is being used to describe them.
Officially the cholesterol in eggs is NO LONGER SEEN as an issue.
But there is a NEW ISSUE…..
It stands for trimethyl-amine-oxide, and just like cholesterol, if you’ve got bad body chemistry, it’s up. And the higher it is, the bigger trouble you’re in.
If you’re wondering what this has to do with eggs.
Trimethyl-amine-oxide is NOT actually a chemical found in eggs. A precursor of it, choline, is. Bacteria in your gut, chomp on the choline, and a few other things, and turn them into trimethyl-amine (TMA). This TMA is absorbed, as it passes through the liver, the liver pops on oxygen on.
A fishy story
So the TMAO is home made.
The thinking is, you make it, because you’re following “a bad” diet and/or you have “bad bacteria”.
Hence the advice to limit egg and red-meat consumption. NOT FISH !
But, the one group of creatures that make TMAO from scratch, is fish.
Why you might ask ?
They need it.
Some more than others.
The deeper they live, the more they need TMAO. It turns out, TMAO acts as a piezolyte, that means, it helps to protect the fish’s proteins, from being “crushed” by the water pressure.
Feeling the pressure
TMAO is high in people with HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. Could the TMAO be helping them, not hurting them ?
This is what a group of Polish researchers wondered……………
They set out to test their idea, in a group of genetically disadvantaged rats, by putting a small amount of TMAO, in the animal’s drinking water.
NOTE : The level of TMAO, they used (0.333 g/L), this increased plasma TMAO , 4 to 5 fold above normal – this is in the range seen, in humans, who have “high” TMAO.
SHR do TMAO
The animals they studied, belonged to the SHR clan of rats. SHR stands for spontaneously hypertensive rats, these guys are genetically programmed to have high blood pressure.
It starts pretty early.
And ends badly………… these little guys, suffer the consequences of the pressure overload.
They end up with heart and kidney failure……….
TMAO did nothing
To the animal’s blood pressure.
It was sky high, with and without TMAO.
And it didn’t make much difference to amount of remodelling, happening inside the arteries. Here is a shot of the arteries inside the heart, of 60 week old rats.
The first panel, is what things should look like. The other two panels, are what weeks of high blood pressure does. Eish !
Now you know why high blood pressure is SO BAD for you.
Looks can be deceiving
When the team assessed what shape the heart was in, by measuring various hemodynamic and cardiac parameters, the heart’s experiencing more TMAO, were in better shape.
Left Ventricular End-Diastolic Pressure, was 2 fold lower.
Plus, N-terminal pro B-type Natriuretic Peptide levels and cardiac fibrosis, was also significantly lower.
The TMAO was taking some of the pressure off….
Mother Nature’s wisdom ?
This research suggests so.
Although, it will take a lot more studies to really unpack the story. Maybe in the future, “we’ll” be buying TMAO supplements, but until then……..
It’s probably safe to say,
CHOLINE in eggs and CARNITINE in meat, are NOT an issue.
Eggs are more than just cholesterol, they’re full of goodies. They won’t up your odds of suffering a heart attack, in fact, they might just do the opposite.
Every Mom, rich or poor, wants to provide her little one with the best start possible. An egg a day, will give baby a great start and prevent stunting
It is vitally important to eat a balanced diet, during pregnancy and lactation. But, not all nutrients are equally important….