In a new guideline, researchers suggest people choose protein foods that come from plants more often.
The research was conducted by a team at the University of Western Ontario.
The team has long promoted the role of a more plant-based diet in reducing the risk of heart disease.
While it is well-known egg yolks have a high content of cholesterol, and meat contains both cholesterol and saturated fat.
In the paper, the team said lesser-known culprits in eggs and red meat could be increasing the levels of toxic metabolites produced by the intestinal microbiome, that negatively impact heart health.
The team highlighted the role of a metabolite produced by our gut bacteria called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO).
Previous studies found that TMAO caused atherosclerosis in an animal model, and a study in more than 4,000 patients referred for coronary angiograms showed that patients with high levels of TMAO had an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular death.
Two dietary substances responsible for the formation of TMAO are carnitine, found mainly in red meat, and phosphatidylcholine, found in egg yolk.
In a recently published paper, the team explored the relationship between TMAO, meat and egg consumption and heart health.
They say people have trillions of bacteria in their intestines.
These bacteria take in the nutrients that people consume and metabolize them into toxic products that get into the bloodstream that can cause a whole host of issues including heart disease.
Because the kidneys get rid of the TMAO in the body, the team says people with reduced kidney function, including older adults, should be especially cautious about consuming red meat and egg yolks.
The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. One author of the study is Dr. David Spence.
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