The Food Guys
8:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Carnitine

ball-and-stick model of the Carnitine molecule
Credit Marina Vladivostok

3/16/14: This week on "The Food Guys:" Jon and Greg react to a Wall Street Journal article from April 2013, "New Health Worry in Red Meat," by Melinda Beck. (The article reports on the findings of a recent NIH study linking gut bacteria and carnitine to the formation of a metabolite called TMAO. This metabolite - which vegans do not manufacture - changes how cholesterol is metabolized and can promote thickening of the arteries.) They point out the tendency by science writers to villainize a single chemical such as carnitine, accusing them of oversimplifying the complex relationship between overall diet and health, and in turn fueling overblown popular reactions to supposed "diet culprits."

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