Choline, a nutrient found in meat and fish, may increase the risk for heart disease, according to a study published in Circulation. Eight participants who followed a vegetarian or vegan diet and 10 participants who followed an omnivorous diet took choline supplements for two months. Blood work from both groups showed elevated levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) and increased platelet activation, both results associated with blood clotting. The participants who followed a vegan or vegetarian diet had lower levels of choline at the start, suggesting a diet with lower levels of nutrients linked to increased TMAO levels may provide a preventive effect.
- Zhu W, Wang Z, Tang WHW, Hazen SL. Gut microbe-generated trimethylamine N-oxide from dietary choline is prothrombotic in subjects. Circulation. 2017;135:1671-1673.