Gut Bacteria May Turn Common Nutrient into Clot-enhancing Compound

Gut bacteria can produce a clot-enhancing compound when people eat a nutrient found in a variety of foods including meat, eggs and milk, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Excessive blood clotting limits or blocks blood flow which can cause heart attack, stroke, damage to the body’s organs or death.

The new study provides the first direct evidence in humans that consuming excess choline, an essential nutrient plentiful in a Western diet, raises both levels of the bacteria-produced compound, called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), and the tendency of platelets to clump together and form clots. Numerous studies have shown that higher blood levels of TMAO are associated with a greater risk of heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes in humans, and recent studies showed that feeding animals choline-supplemented diets also raised their risk of clotting.

In this small study, 18 volunteers (8 vegan or vegetarian, 10 omnivores) without heart disease or major risk factors (average age 46 years, 40 percent male), took supplements of 500 milligrams (mg) of choline bitartrate twice daily for two months. The average daily intake is about 302 mg a day.

Researchers found:

  • Blood levels of TMAO rose more than 10 times after both 1 and 2 months of choline supplementation in both vegans/vegetarians and omnivores alike.
  • The tendency of platelets to form clots in a laboratory test rose with choline supplementation.
  • The ability of elevated TMAO levels to promote clot formation was reduced when subjects were also taking a daily baby aspirin (81 mg/day).

“Foods that raise TMAO may increase your risk for clotting and thrombotic events. Unless prescribed by your doctor, avoid supplements with choline. A Mediterranean or vegetarian diet is reported to help reduce TMAO,” said Stanley L. Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study, chair of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, and section head of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Source: American Heart Association

Today’s Comic

Video: Potato Souffles with Julia Child and Jacques Pepin

Chefs Julia Child and Jacques Pepin make a simple potato souffle dish using only three ingredients.

Watch video at You Tube (8:06 minutes) . . . . .

What’s for Dinner?

Home-cooked Japanese Dinner

The Menu

Chirashi sushi with Shredded Egg and Beef, and Broad Beans

Salad of Turnip, Dried Plum, and Bonito Shaving and Tofu with Kochia Seeds

Miso Soup with Celery and Deep-fried Tofu

Dessert: Mini Water Melon

Shrimp with Quinoa, Edamame and Ginger


2 cups cooked whole shrimp
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp water
2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger)
1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup edamame beans, shelled and steamed
3 Tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari


  1. Bring the quinoa and the 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 6 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
  3. Heat a large wok or saucepan on medium heat. Add the oil, the 2 Tbsp of water and the broccoli. Cover and cook the mixture for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the red pepper, garlic and ginger, replace the cover and cook for an additional 3 minutes, until the broccoli and peppers are tender yet crisp.
  5. Add the shrimp, black beans, edamame and soy sauce. Stir in the quinoa and continue to heat until it is heated throughout. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Quinoa 360

Burgers with Thick Bacon Debuted at Freshness Burgers Japan

Classic Smoke Bacon Burger

Classic Smoked Bacon Cheese Burger