Thursday, April 18, 2013

Carnitine and Atherosclerosis

A diet rich in red meat has long been recognized as a risk factor for atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), but the saturated fat content of lean red meat appears to account for only some of the increased risk of a carnivorous lifestyle.
Carnitine may be a culprit for additional risks, says Stan Hazen, MD, PhD, from The Cleveland Clinic's Heart and Vascular Institute, who did the research and authored the recently published paper. Carnitine gets its name from carnis (meaning flesh), the Latin root of the word carnivore, because it is abundant in red meat. It is present at significantly lower levels in other forms of meat and dairy products.
 Carnitine is also a nutrient that may increase energy if taken short-term, but the new studies suggest that long-term exposure to carnitine may lead to increased hardening of blood vessel walls.

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