How Meat and Eggs Increase Heart Disease Risk

Scientists recently discovered a possible explanation for how a diet high in red meat and eggs increases stroke and cardiovascular disease risk. According to researchers, choline—a substance in meat, liver, egg yolks, wheat germ, and peanuts—promotes the growth of bacteria in the gut, which then form a compound that increases the stickiness of the blood and raises the risk for blood clots, heart attack, and stroke.

Choline is an essential nutrient—too little of the substance can also cause health problems. It affects brain development, helps remove "bad" cholesterol from the blood, and is important in the formation of healthy membranes throughout the body.

For the study, researchers gave 18 volunteers—eight people who were vegetarian or vegan, and 10 who ate meat, eggs, and dairy products—500 mg of choline supplements twice a day for one month. The recommended adequate intake of choline is 550 mg for men and 425 mg for women. At the end of the study, all volunteers experienced increased platelet stickiness and a higher risk for blood clots.

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Sourced from: NBC News