Paleo Diet Increases TMAO – Associated with Cardiovascular Disease


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Researchers have found some evidence that elevated TMAO levels are associated with increased heart disease and mortality, but other research gives evidence otherwise. For all we know, TMAO could find itself alongside saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, blamed for something that isn’t really its fault. Over the last several years, beginning with a 2013 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, TMAO has been linked with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. If higher TMAO increases risk of heart disease, then animal protein causes heart attacks, right?

Not so fast. There are two primary reasons TMAO and animal proteins are not a concern. Additionally, examining this TMAO research.

“The research is not encouraging reading for anyone considering a paleo diet to lower their risk of heart and circulatory diseases,” she said. Taylor concluded: “The paleo diet may seem to be a. People who follow the paleo diet have twice the amount of a key blood biomarker linked closely to heart disease, the world’s first major study examining the impact of the diet on gut. People who follow the paleo diet have twice the amount of a key blood biomarker linked closely to heart disease, the world’s first major study examining the impact of the diet on gut.

Paleo Diet Increases Risk for Heart Disease A “paleo diet” increases levels of TMAO, a metabolite associated with heart disease, according to a study published in the European Journal of. High levels of TMAO, an organic compound produced in the gut, are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. The controversial Paleo (or ‘caveman’) diet advocates eating meat, vegetables, nuts and limited fruit, and excludes grains, legume.

TMAO is an organic compound made by bacteria in the gut and is associated with an increase in cardiovascular disease risk. TMAO bacteria production is increased. Another potentially dangerous aspect of the Paleo diet is the increased amount of red meat and saturated fats, which has been linked to heart disease as well. In fact, Paleo.

The higher levels of TMAO and the bacteria that cause it (Hungatella) led the researchers to believe the paleo diet could increase a person’s risk for heart disease, a disease that kills 610,000.

List of related literature:

In his first study in 2007, Dr. Lindeberg and associates placed twenty-nine patients with type 2 diabetes and heart disease on either a Paleo diet or a Mediterranean diet based on whole grains, low-fat dairy products, vegetables, fruits, fish, oils, and margarines.

“AARP The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young” by Loren Cordain
from AARP The Paleo Answer: 7 Days to Lose Weight, Feel Great, Stay Young
by Loren Cordain
Wiley, 2012

There is also some evidence suggesting that the Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory, prevents cancer, and lowers cardiovascular risk.

“How to Eat: All Your Food and Diet Questions Answered” by Mark Bittman, David Katz
from How to Eat: All Your Food and Diet Questions Answered
by Mark Bittman, David Katz
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020

Epidemiologic evidence from large cohort studies have concluded that a striking 80% reduction of heart disease and diabetes might be achieved in those with diets lower in saturated and trans fat and higher in fruits, vegetables, folate, fiber, and n-3 fish oils.

“Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition” by Benjamin Caballero, Lindsay Allen, Andrew Prentice
from Encyclopedia of Human Nutrition
by Benjamin Caballero, Lindsay Allen, Andrew Prentice
Elsevier Science, 2005

Yet there are some major differences to note between the Keystone Diet and these other diets, which are generally tailored to quite different autoimmune diseases.

“The Keystone Approach: Healing Arthritis and Psoriasis by Restoring the Microbiome” by Rebecca Fett
from The Keystone Approach: Healing Arthritis and Psoriasis by Restoring the Microbiome
by Rebecca Fett
Franklin Fox Publishing LLC, 2017

Also, replacing carbohydrates with trans-fatty acids was associated with an increased CHD risk and replacing carbohydrates with PUFA or

“Dietary Patterns and Whole Plant Foods in Aging and Disease” by Mark L. Dreher
from Dietary Patterns and Whole Plant Foods in Aging and Disease
by Mark L. Dreher
Springer International Publishing, 2018
from human studies on diabetes, it is clear that n-3 PUFAs exert beneficial effects on lipid metabolism and may decrease the severity of cardiac disorder and hence lower the incidence of coronary artery disease (Bhathena, 1992).

“Biochemistry of Foods” by N.A. Michael Eskin, Fereidoon Shahidi
from Biochemistry of Foods
by N.A. Michael Eskin, Fereidoon Shahidi
Elsevier Science, 2012

Similarly the experimental diet in the Lyons Heart Study was not associated with appreciable cholesterol lowering.

“Human Nutrition E-Book” by Catherine Geissler, Hilary Powers
from Human Nutrition E-Book
by Catherine Geissler, Hilary Powers
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2010

Few studies have been conducted into the effects of the paleo diet on autoimmune disease, although anecdotal reports and early evidence are promising.

“Nutrition Facts: The Truth About Food” by Karen Frazier
from Nutrition Facts: The Truth About Food
by Karen Frazier
Callisto Media Incorporated, 2015

If you have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, or cardiovascular disease, the Paleo Diet will swiftly improve your disease symptoms.

“The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages” by Nell Stephenson, Loren Cordain
from The Paleo Diet Cookbook: More Than 150 Recipes for Paleo Breakfasts, Lunches, Dinners, Snacks, and Beverages
by Nell Stephenson, Loren Cordain
HMH Books, 2010

There is also recent evidence that high­fat diets and obesity may promote translocation of commensal­derived endotoxin from the gut into the general circulation and there induce inflammation, insulin resistance and atherosclerosis.

“General and Systematic Pathology E-Book” by James C. E. Underwood, Simon S Cross
from General and Systematic Pathology E-Book
by James C. E. Underwood, Simon S Cross
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2009

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

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  • Says the vegan video. Enjoy your diet that needs supplements and remember, you can’t spell vegetarian without vagina.������������������.Mmmmm

  • I’ve been an ACE (American Council on Exercise) trainer and nutrition specialist for years and all my research has led me to a plant based life style. The evidence is just unrelenting that humans are herbivores! I just can’t believe it took me till I was 31 to figure this out… I missed out on some serious gains and health benefits all those years I was eating animal flesh and their secretions. Not to mention all the pain and suffering I was supporting every time I purchased these “items”. Living a whole foods plant based lifestyle is the life humans are suppose live; it’s only a matter of time before the world changes (hopefully sooner than later). Thanks Ryan!

  • This new, and easy blood test is standard for all my patients. ClevelandHeartLab is the leader in advanced cardiovascular risk assessment.

  • Desperate lies from the white coat sellouts. Grains were not meant to be part of our diet were there any pictures of wheat on the caves of Lascaux? Grains are the fad diet,not meat.
    Been carnivore for a year, never felt better. Ignore this scare-mongering grain-brain, watch Dr. Shawn Baker.

  • The last 5 videos I’ve watched on this channel were all preceded by a Mozzarella cheese add. Barking up the wrong tree, or trying to break my vegan conviction.. Now where did I leave my tinfoil..

  • This is interesting preliminary work, but it will be even more interesting when followed up after 5 years or when it gets accepted into a paper. I know sometimes conference proceedings can be a little light on rigour, so it would be nice to see it be peer reviewed.

  • Another great video HHV:) Does anyone know where to find this study? I’m looking on google scholar but it doesn’t seem to be coming up, but I see other news articles on google about it but no one references the actual study? Can anyone help me please?

  • i hope, when they come out whit the first big VEGAN study that u all vegans just dont debunked like all other critics u do. cuz it will come a big study on vegans to

  • So if vegans do not produce TMAO if they eat meat, what about vegans who supplement with l-carnitine for it’s benefits. Do they produce TMAO?

  • Awesome! I bet future studies will show that the health benefits of Paleo diets (from no processed food, increased vegetable intake, etc) will be mostly cancelled out by the increased meat and egg consumption

  • Nice one Ryan! Looking forward to seeing the details of the study. I would be interested like you said, how much meat were the “healthy” group eating?

  • Something I never hear about is the placebo/belief effect on diet. That would be fascinating to study. Meanwhile my belief is that a whole food plant based diet is optimal for me.

  • Those who cant or refuse to see the truth or science, i dont know what to say. I love the Taste of all animal products, i grew up eating them all my life but forget that tradition and ima start a new one by eating delicious alternatives. And why do you guys think all these doctors around the world say limit meat intake and eat all the fruits and vegetables u want? Its a cognitave thing not to truly hear this. Please do your own research without emotion.

  • “it might be the best”chris

    So appeal to ignorance from chris. We don’t know, so you cant say it’s bad!

    Yea, we don’t know. so you can’t say it’s good either chris. Dumbass. lol. Kresser is always a laugh.

  • I think there will be a lot more studies coming out showing how animal products are not healthy for human consumption. It’s only a matter of time.

  • one of my colleagues said his mother and sister were going on a paleo diet as they had started training for a marathon. Immediately i just told him outright that paleo diets are dangerous and should be avoided. We are in the age now where people refer to google for everything and eat up all the bullshit from these websites with all these “fitness gurus” and all these nutritionists who know jack shit. Look at science don’t be sheep

  • By no means am I scientist, but when studies like this come out there are some things one must keep in mind. 1. What was the quality of the diet? Organic, non organic? Were they eating refined carbs in this diet? Just because its paleo compliant doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy for you. etc. 2. When one “bad” study comes out, what is the source? Is it flawed because of bias? 3. Does one bad study automatically mean that it’s a bad diet and we have to disregard everything about said diet? No. That’s silliness. Remember correlation is one of the weakest forms of evidence. There are many studies of the paleo diet and sub studies of certain foods, that say if done correctly, a paleo diet can be incredibly healthy. Chris didn’t say in the debate or in his books that everyone needs to go paleo and it’s the only diet that works. He said “it’s a good template.” Also, I’m honestly really disappointed in the comments on this(these) video(s). Some come off rather hateful towards people who aren’t on a high carb, plant based vegan diet. C’mon guys, let’s lift each other up and try to help one another instead of tearing each other down.

  • I know from my interactions with meater trolls the last few months that they were awaiting release of this study’s findings with bated breath. They will now jump through hoops of fire to dissect the study parameters and compile a list of reasons to discredit it. Prepare for a circus of intellectual contortion, fellow vegans! TFP, Ryan: )

  • I predict that veganism will end the fad diet phenomenon by 2028. Thence forth all people shall know that veganism is the one true diet.

  • It won’t matter if the last scientific nail is in the coffin, some will still be espousing a meat based diet. People tend to be driven by desire rather than logic.

  • Thanks a lot Ryan. The Paleo community don’t even have a handle on the lifestyles of the different paleolithic peoples of the times.

  • Hey Ryan, I don’t think you linked to the video where the researchers shared their findings. If you could that’d be great. Keep up the good work man.

  • What, no, really?(sarcasm). The study is great, but proves what was really already proven. Paleo is so obviously magical thinking. Why do people want to cling to meat so badly?

  • of course it’s linked to heart disease, they usually eat tons of fat. they even put butter in coffee. i’m not even vegan and it’s obvious that it’s the worst diet ever. did we all forget that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart problems?

  • I have no thoughts on it because we have no details other than these previews that may not be truthful. You should have waited to put out a video until the study was finally published so there’s no grey area of information.

  • Huh? How can eating dead animal corpses with all that saturated fat, cholesterol, zero antioxidants and injected with antibiotics be unhealthy for humans? Can’t believe it!

  • With each passing day, week, month and year, meat eaters are slowly being proven how flawed their diet is. Sadly many people are beyond any change and would continue eating that way despite the health risks.
    In my country hospitals are full of age 60+ people, obese and sick from having a diet rich in meats and large amounts of fats, like pig snouts…and lard. And you know what the irony is? It’s clean here, small and agricultural country, meats and plant foods are uncontaminated with chemicals of any kind( as much as possible), farms with grazing animals.Clean meat and people still get sick. Veggies with deep aroma and taste, feels like an orgasm:P

  • There is no money to be made from anyone following a paleo style diet. Plenty to be made from diets high in refined carbohydrates, fake meats, sugar and soy. Australia is one of the most obese countries in the world. The agricultural, pharmaceutical companies, not to mention big food have an interest in keeping it that way. Always follow the money trail

  • too bad this wasn’t out before the Joe Rogan podcast.

    Would have been nice to slam dunk the paleo garbage with this additional data comparing Australian standard diet to the “natural” paleo style of eating.

  • So what if I choose to switch to plant based and I feel like crap? Should I continue the diet or eat in a way that gives me energy and gives me less depression and better digestion? As humans we are so different…

  • It should also be known that TMAO can be found in much higher amounts in some vegetables and fruits. In other words, no one can be perfect but we can make sure to keep everything balanced by eating animal meats and milks and eggs along with certain vegetables.

  • Some people follow “Pegan” (paleo vegan).  I would be interested in knowing whether avoiding grain and legumes makes a difference to a vegan biome.

  • If we switch over to a vegan diet will the body heal itself if it does have too much of a TMAO value? My doctor recently told me that I should leave Paleo and become vegan, but then he couldn’t stay vegan himself. We always pick lower fat meats and have just about completely eliminated beef from our diet, but I do not want to have congestive heart failure. I want to avoid that like the plague.

  • Very nice graphics in the video. What the informative content, in all respect, misses in my view is the potential of allicine (which forms naturally when RAW (not heated) fresh garlic is chewed or ground) can totally destroy the gut bacteria that are responsible for producing TAO that later converts to TMAO. Amazingly it does this, as research has shown, while leaving benificial gut bacteria colononies totally in tact. This research conducted in mice populations has shown that this therepeutic equivalent for humans would already happen when consuming 3-4 cloves of fresh garlic a day.
    For those worried about smelling like garlic, chewing a combi of parsley and selery really helps combatting this. Research has also found that heterosexual women find the sweat of men who eat garlic (NOTE: the sweat only, and probably not the breath per sé, especially if eating garlic is not followed up as mentioned by chewing some parsley and celery) more attractive. Maybe, this is because TMA levels in sweat, which have a famously fishy odour, are killed along with the bacteria responsible for them by garlic.

  • Paleo is one the most ignorant and destructive diet in terms of ecology and biology. Whenever it is proven to be harmful, I rejoice.

  • Higher rate of heart disease and kidney problems will be the main findings when studying the paleo diet I think. Why do people even bother with the paleo diet when a much proven healthier diet already exists? The wholefoods vegan diet.

  • It’s hard to believe so many people follow a diet with no major studies examining whether it’s healthy or not. Paleo people didn’t even eat this diet. It’s an Orwellian diet where true is false and false is true.

  • One thing with this is that paleo people still eat a lot of whole food plant based things, so I don’t think it’s a slam dunk for us

  • We are arguing over whether the Earth is flat again. There is no question eating Paleo causes all kinds of chronic diseases. I bet Kresser’s comeback will be ” there is no evidence high TMAO causes anything” ” show me the studies” LOL. Leave these dummies alone, it’s like arguing with a pigeon.

  • i heard that TMAO levels do NOT rise when vegans eat steak or eggs (from a study), because they do not have that specific TMA forming bacteria anymore, (not needed?) i wonder if it is possible to detox it out and then eat eggs again.

  • I love that you fully source Dr Greger, unlike vegan gains who ripped his work word for word when he first started making videos, and only sometimes mentioned him.

  • No no… the TMAO’s become building blocks for muscle growth.  Yeah… that’s the ticket! Sure, if you want to be a scrawny vegan then avoid meat, but if you wanna be ripped like Dr. Kresser then… uh.. oh… well, wait… not him… but Bob Harper! Yeah, that’s it! Do Bob Harper’s Bullitt Proof eating… maybe it won’t cause a heart attack. He’s recovering…

  • Funny how Dr Gundry is the intro ad for this video. He tells you how bad lectins and beans are and then says he eats them just fine after cooking them the way we’ve been doing it for centuries, in another video. Man that’s what I call Post Modern Nutritionism. But the plebs fall for it!?

  • Sheesh. He science shows tmao production can be eliminated if you don’t eat animal products. Why do they have to be so pansy concerning their advice about this? Tmao is toxic to your cardiovascular system and causes heart disease and strokes. Don’t just reduce those tmao producing foods like meat, dairy and eggs, ELIMINATE them from your diet!

  • Must of been what was making me sick this whole time and I didn’t know it. I’d get inflammation. And I’d get bacteria that causes ulcers. Maybe the Plant Based diet is for me.:) I’m getting there. Gradually getting to a Plant Based diet. The more I study up on it the more I really think I need to do this.:) Thanks Ryan. Another great video.:)

  • Chicken can especially affect gut bacteria (just bringing a raw one in the house will infect you) so I’m not sure why only “red meat” was mentioned. Fish can affect gut bacteria similarly as red meat. The health effects of a “Mediterranean diet” come from the additional fruits, vegetables, and nuts and the reduction of meat so minimize all non-plant foods and favor whole plant foods for the fiber and resistant starch to feed your good gut bacteria.