Chemical Compound in Eggs Linked to Heart Disease

Lecithin, found in egg yolk, may increase risk of heart disease, reports The New York Times.


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A new study recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that egg yolks contain a chemical compound, lecithin, that is linked with heart disease. Similar findings were also recently presented on the chemical compound, carnitine, found in beef. After examining 4,000 Cleveland Clinic patients, researchers determined the two chemicals, lecithin and carnitine, are related, and lecithin has an identical trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO, production path as carnitine: when carnitine breaks down, it releases the chemical choline. As bacteria in the intestinal tract metabolizes choline, a byproduct forms that is then converted into TMAO––increased levels of TMAO are an indicator of stroke or heart disease risk. 

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