I often talk about the benefits of following a traditional, Mediterranean-type diet. It’s considered the healthiest diet on the planet by experts far and wide. In fact, people who follow it consistently have much lower rates of chronic disease and live much longer lives.
And now, a new study has just zeroed in on how olive oil, vinegar, and red wine—which are all key parts of this healthy diet—help “counteract” a harmful metabolite linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Researchers uncover secret tools within the Medi diet
In this new study, researchers followed more than 120,000 women between the ages of 35 to 55 during a period of 10 years. The researchers asked the women about their dietary habits and lifestyle choices.
Researchers also took two blood samples from the women—one at the study’s outset and another 10 years later. Specifically, they were looking for the presence of a harmful metabolite called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO)—which your gut produces during digestion.
Women with the largest increases in TMAO levels over the 10-year follow-up period had a 67 percent higher risk of developing CVD. (Previously published studies had linked high levels of TMAO with a higher risk of developing and dying from CVD.)
But here’s the key factor the researchers only briefly touched upon…
When you follow a healthy Mediterranean diet, you never have to worry about high TMAO because your TMAO levels plummet by consuming cold-pressed olive oil, balsamic or red wine vinegar, and red wine—all of which are vital parts of the Mediterranean diet! In fact, historically, people who follow this diet consume olive oil, vinegar, and red wine every single day!
Balancing TMAO may be a major reason why olive oil, vinegar, and red wine are so healthy for Italians, Greeks, and Spaniards. It helps keep their TMAO levels in check.
And clearly, it works. As people who follow the Mediterranean diet are famous for having healthy hearts—and low CVD risk—while eating a wide variety of foods that could potentially raise TMAO.
Humans are meant to follow a healthy dietary pattern that naturally reduces TMAO. Instead of continuing to wrongly indict dietary cholesterol or fats, dairy, eggs, or red meat, it’s high time to consider these REAL risk factors for heart disease.
Now, here’s a quick reminder of all the healthy, delicious, whole foods included in the Mediterranean diet. I encourage you to strive to eat a variety of them all week long.
- Full-fat dairy (including organic whole milk, cheeses, yogurts, and butter)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
- Organic, grass-fed and -finished meats
- Wild-caught fish and seafood
- Olive oil and red wine or balsamic vinegar, both of which lower TMAO
- Alcohol, in moderation (especially red wine, which also lowers TMAO)
For more insight into natural ways to protect your heart as you get older, I encourage you to check out my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. This innovative, online learning tool outlines the natural, heart-healing pathway to low blood pressure, a stroke-free brain, and never having to take a dangerous heart medication again. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!
P.S. Tune back in tomorrow for my report on why following a balanced, Mediterranean diet is especially beneficial for older, frail people.
“Long-Term Changes in Gut Microbial Metabolite Trimethylamine N-Oxide and Coronary Heart Disease Risk.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, February 2020. 75(7). doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2019.11.060
“Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis.” Nat Med 2013; 19(5):576-85. doi.org/0.1038/nm.3145
“Circulating trimethylamine N-oxide and the risk of cardiovascular diseases: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 prospective cohort studies.” J Cell Mol Med; 22(1):185–194. doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.13307.
“Intestinal Microbial Metabolism of Phosphatidylcholine and Cardiovascular Risk.” The New England Journal of Medicine; 368(17):1575–1584. doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1109400
“Non-lethal Inhibition of Gut Microbial Trimethylamine Production for the Treatment of Atherosclerosis.” Cell 2015 Dec 17;163(7):1585-95. doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2015.11.055