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B.S. Study of the Year: "Carnitine Causes Heart Disease!"

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posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:21 AM
If you've paid any attention to nutritional headlines lately, you've noticed that there happens to be a new study damning red meat. But there's a difference this time... This one doesn't blame red meat for causing colon cancer. And it doesn't point the finger at the delicious dinner for its cholesterol or saturated fat content. In fact, the study authors readily admit that saturated fat has recently been shown, through meta-analyses of high quality studies, to have no association with cardiovascular disease (1). And since dietary cholesterol has never, and never will, cause heart disease in humans, the study authors take this down a new, long-shot-of-a rabbit hole.

The Cliff-Notes version goes like this: If red meat doesn't cause heart disease through saturated fat or cholesterol, there must be another factor explaining the "vast" amount of data associating red meat consumption with CVD. Researchers, in an attempt to grasp straws, find their rabbit hole of sorts. Dietary Carnitine, from red meat, gets gobbled up by your gut bacteria which produces TMA (trimethylamine). Eventually, TMA makes its way to your liver where it's converted to TMAO (trimethlamine oxide. According to the researchers, elevated TMAO in the bloodstream causes a cholesterol transport problem that leads to cholesterol deposits in the arterial wall... hence, Cardiovascular Disease.

Before dissecting the study in all its fallacies, there are a few things that, on the surface, quite literally seem to dismantle it from its very foundations. For instance:

The entire "Red meat, through TMAO blood concentration, causes heart disease" fails because of the simple fact that TMAO levels following red meat consumption are relatively low compared to other "heart healthy" foods. As Chris Masterjohn points out in his blog post, this chart from a 1999 study below explains this very candidly:

Control subjects actually had higher concentrations of TMAO circulating than did those eating red meat. Even more damning is the fact that many whole fruits and vegetables yielded higher TMAO levels than red meat, including carrots, peas, potatoes and tomatoes. A look at the following graph gives even more contradictory data:

Even though fish is considered to be "heart healthy," it blows red meat out of the water when examining TMAO concentrations post consumption.

While these revelations alone should be enough to put this ridiculous study to bed, the ridiculousness continues...

If you recall earlier, the study authors were searching for a factor in meat that causes heart disease because of the vast amount of data in support of the "red meat causes CVD" theory. The first line of the abstract is as follows (Anthony Colpo):

The high level of meat consumption in the developed world is linked to CVD risk, presumably owing to the large content of saturated fats and cholesterol in meat

The researchers, unfortunately, are operating on a false notion. The TMAO hypothesis is the result of confirmation bias. They 'know' that red meat causes CVD. As a result, when they're presented with data that says saturated fat and cholesterol don't cause heart disease, they're determined to find the cause to why red meat causes CVD because they believe that red meat, indeed, does just that. The sad truth is... they've fallen victim to the cardinal no-no of scientific research...


The only real reason these researchers are pursuing this hypothesis down such a rabbit hole is because they've confused cause with association. Do morning shows make the sun rise? No. Do cops and first responders cause automobile accidents? No. But they're associated with each other. Red meat consumers tend to be less healthy than those who do no consume red meat. This doesn't mean that red meat causes unhealthiness. The following is from Anthony Colpo's blog:

–The primary source of trans fats are refined vegetable fats (you know, the same fats our idiotic health authorities told us were “heart healthy”, then quietly backed away from when mounting evidence showed otherwise).

–Smoking, meanwhile, involves ingestion of noxious gases from nicotine-containing products, primarily cigarettes. In my four-plus decades on this crazy blue ball called Earth, I’ve yet to see someone roll a topside steak, light it up, and draw on it like a Marlboro. In other words, red meat has nothing to do with smoking, and to blame the effects of the latter on the former is sheer idiocy.

–Any claim that red meat intake causes physical inactivity is similarly absurd. In fact, given its high concentrations of B-vitamins, creatine, iron, and carnitine (critical for energy production, idiotic statements about CHD from clueless researchers notwithstanding), we would reasonably expect red meat intake to facilitate, rather than impede, strenuous exercise.

–There is no reliable evidence whatsoever to support any notion that angina, diabetes and high blood pressure are caused by red meat intake. They are, however, promoted by smoking, inactivity, and trans fat intake, all of which increased among the NHS subjects along with rising red meat intakes. These ailments are also strongly linked to such factors as high refined carbohydrate intakes, stress, ambient pollution, and high bodily iron stores.

That's right... people who eat the most red meat, also tend to partake in the most unhealthy lifestyle behaviors. That doesn't mean that eating red meat is unhealthy. Yet, the authors and researchers of the study at hand hold this ridiculous hypothesis to be gospel.

Problem 3:

This one is simple. You can't use genetically altered mice, that are bread to develop CVD on normal mice chow, to determine cause in humans. That's it (there was more but I lost it and i need to go to bed).

I'll leave you with this.... at the end of the study, there were a few disclosures:

Z.W. and B.S.L. are named as co-inventors on pending patents held by the Cleveland Clinic relating to cardiovascular diagnostics and have the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries related to cardiovascular diagnostics from Liposciences. W.H.W.T. received research grant support from Abbott Laboratories and served as a consultant for Medtronic and St. Jude Medical. S.L.H. and J.D.S. are named as co-inventors on pending and issued patents held by the Cleveland Clinic relating to cardiovascular diagnostics and therapeutics patents. S.L.H. has been paid as a consultant or speaker by the following companies: Cleveland Heart Lab., Esperion, Liposciences, Merck & Co. and Pfizer. He has received research funds from Abbott, Cleveland Heart Lab., Esperion and Liposciences and has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries related to cardiovascular diagnostics.

LOL @ Patents and Royalties

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:24 AM

So neither saturated fat nor LDL cholesterol deposited from diet (absorption) clog up arteries (causing stroke/heart disease)?

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:46 AM
reply to post by tropic

No... I think. What exactly are you asking? Because you're question really doesn't make any sense.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:48 AM
reply to post by tropic

Here's an attempt. Neither saturated fat nor cholesterol 'clogs' arteries.
edit on 16-4-2013 by DevolutionEvolvd because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 08:12 AM
reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd

Thanks for this information. While I tend to cast a jaundiced eye at every new revelation regarding dietary causes of disease from the "official" sources, it helps to get pointed in the direction of information that refutes this new one.

Very informative!

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 08:19 AM
The body is able to digest natural fats that is what we were made for, that is what meat with all the natural nutrients of animals raised in a natural diet provide to the human body.

Unnatural fats altered meats and animals grown with the sole purpose of mass productions that lacks nutrients is what is killing people, that is what you buy in the stores and what people are eating in high quantities.

Any kind of food that is mass produced manufactured or processed, including animals is not and should never be part of the human diet.

Is call common sense people, you don't need a study to tell you that, studies are done for the sole purpose of pushing agendas.
edit on 16-4-2013 by marg6043 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 09:21 AM
Perhaps it's what's being fed to the animals. Russia recently tightened restrictions on the import of Canadian meats due to the use of ractopamine. Here is just one of many articles about the issue... this one is from the Huffington Post. Some advocates for the drug say it's safe, but ractopamine is NOT for human consumption and being that it's given to the animal shortly before culling, that drug is still in it's system. It is banned in 160 different nations, yet the USA and Canada still use it.
Quote from the Huffington article:

According to an excellent report by food safety researcher Helen Bottemiller, ractopamine was originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) back in 1999. It might surprise you, however, to learn that this approval was based solely on research data provided by Elanco, the drug's manufacturer. Unfortunately for Elanco, the regulatory processes in other countries are a little more robust than ours: Bottemiller reports that the scientist who led the European food safety panel studying the drug stated that "The main problem for us is that the safety of the product could not be supported with the data."

Most disturbing is the actual side effects on human health. Because it's such a dangerous drug, it's full effects on human health have not been studied.

What does this have to do with the OP?

Decoded Science wrote an excellent, understandable article that we can understand. They discuss a study that was conducted on 6 volunteers:

The results of the study found that at doses of 5mg resulted in no cardiovascular response and at 10 mg only minor effects were reported. However, at doses 15, 25, and 40 mg increased heart rate by 20, 30, and 50 beats per min above the control was reported. Cardiac output increased by approximately 35 percent, 55 percent, and 90 percent was also reported.

Cardiac output increased!

Long term side effects:

The reported side effects of using this drug includes tachycardia (fast heart rate, over 100 beats per minute), vasodilation (widening of blood vessel , skeletal muscle tremor, nervousness, metabolic disturbances such as hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) and hypokalaemia (lower than normal potassium in the blood.) “These effects are pharmacologically predictable, dose-related and potency related, with cardiovascular effects being the most commonly reported side-effects. Non-pharmacological effects include airway hyper-responsiveness and increased airway inflammation” reports the National Library of Medicine.

There are so many articles on ractopamine, and it is in practically ALL our meat!

So, I ask you, is it the drugs in the food causing the problems and not the food itself? It is my opinion that GMOs, chemical additives, "washing", and other crap IN the food that is causing these issues.
Our ancestors ate meat, grains, butter and all these other things we eat today... they had healthy lifestyles and labored on their farms. Why is it that throughout recorded history and even as recent as the 50's and 60's we see no rampant "IBS", gastric reflux, gluten allergies, honey, peanut allergies...

We're making ourselves sick!

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 10:04 AM
reply to post by DevolutionEvolvd

Great post OP. Star and Flag. I read your analysis but have read the sources documents and put my two cents in. I believe as well as you that this is not the cause and I would present at least at prima facia that it is environmental. More to follow as I have to get to work.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 11:35 AM
I take Carnitine daily and feel beneficial energy improvements, mental well being, just my overall mood has been great since I started this a couple months ago. Walking around whistling my favorite tunes, happy as can be and I can tell its from this.

The I read that article recently linking it to heart disease, and then read towards the bottom of the article that it does not effect vegetarians. I'm actually a pescaterian (I do eat fish occasionally ala the Jesus diet), so I am not effected by this study.

who knows w/ these studies. they used to say we need 12-16 glasses (8 ounce) of water a day, and now they say, just drink when you feel thirsty

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:08 PM
The association between high levels of LDL and bad arteries is real but cholesterol does not cause the problems that are occurring, it is just a symptom. The medical industry has already got slammed for their sales technique when they were told about the association from the chemical association. What causes the cholesterol not to get taken out of the body or utilized is the problem and not the cholesterol itself. The Medical industry jumped at the opportunity to gain new customers without researching it like they were supposed to.

We need saturated fats but if we can't utilize them properly they become problematic as do all fats. We are lacking the energy and chemistry to use them. If we don't need them, consuming too much sugar, then the body just floats them around and they get stuck. The problem is we are deriving too much of our energy from sugars, especially fructose. We got this all messed up

If the body is excreting that chemical, it is good, it is not floating around in the body and building up. You may be looking at it backwards OP. Getting rid of the bad chemistry is what we do. We need carnatine but we also need to get rid of any excess. But you are right, Many of the foods they tout as heart healthy are really not. It is a sales scam to make us eat food that dampens our energy level so we can be civil. It's not working correctly though. We need to eat some aged meat to be civil, just get the bad added chemicals out of it that make it work incorrectly. Sodium orithrobate turns sulfates into sulfites, maybe you don't have to add as much but there is still a lot of sulfite in the food. It also may cause a breakdown of some nutrients like NAC because of this action which can make us sicker by screwing up the sulfide bond it has that makes it work.

Seems like every time someone tries to fix something they make it worse. Eat red meat in moderation. Eat everything in moderation. If something tastes too good to be true and is full of chemicals than you know what these chemicals are doing to our mind. A little won't kill you but a lot can slowly sicken you.

Eat real meat, not the crap they are selling in stores. Buy local where you know the farmer, if he raises the cow right, he deserves to be paid as much as the store get for all his work. It doesn't have to be a lot cheaper than the store to buy from a local farmer, People think that they should get less since there is no middle man but look at the sickening way they are raising the cows in those stockyards and the way the butchering works. A small meat processing facility that has an USDA inspector is good, a big facility still only needs one inspector. Inspectors are busy approving livers half the time in big facilities, not so much in a small place that only has twenty livers to inspect in a day.

Until more studies on this are released, I will have to agree it was released too soon. S&F

edit on 16-4-2013 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:24 PM
wait, science might be wrong? No, can't be.

To asses a study one needs to determine the motivation. Many are designed to debunk a competing product. Many are designed to justify the introduction of a product. Many are designed to create a new use for an existing product. Some are designed to invalidate a product. And some, most bizarrely, are designed to demonize one's own product which is about to fall into the public domain - thereby ending it's use and negating competition. Some study's are designed to get more funding for more study.

Vegans will easily donate money to study's that demonize the scumbag meat eaters, so said study's must deliver. Meat companies will fund studies that show their additives are not only safe, but good for animal and human alike, they may even get money from the makers of the additives.

Study's now validate, or invalidate products and products claims, since product connections are the main way people get work. True researchers can barely afford to pay the rent, but if you want to study the positive, wonderful effect of GMO corn on the human heart, you'll have a job waiting. If you want to prove that GMO's harm the human consciousness, well, you'll rot in hell getting money for that.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 12:50 PM
reply to post by dominicus

...except fish has a great TMAO response than does red meat. Therefore, according to the study, you're at a higher risk than red meat eaters for developing heart disease.

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