Document Detail

Gut microbiota metabolism of l-carnitine and cardiovascular risk.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24267266     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
In recent years, a number of studies have alluded to the importance of the intestinal microflora in controlling whole-body metabolic homeostasis and organ physiology. In particular, it has been suggested that the hepatic production of trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) from gut microbiota-derived trimethylamine (TMA) may enhance cardiovascular risk via promoting atherosclerotic lesion development. The source of TMA production via the gut microbiota appears to originate from 2 principle sources, either phosphatidylcholine/choline and/or l-carnitine. Therefore, it has been postulated that consumption of these dietary sources, which are often found in large quantities in red meats, may be critical factors promoting cardiovascular risk. In contrast, a number of studies demonstrate beneficial properties for l-carnitine consumption against metabolic diseases including skeletal muscle insulin resistance and ischemic heart disease. Furthermore, fish are a significant source of TMAO, but dietary fish consumption and fish oil supplementation may exhibit positive effects on cardiovascular health. In this mini-review we will discuss the discrepancies regarding l-carnitine supplementation and its possible negative effects on cardiovascular risk through potential increases in TMAO production, as well as its positive effects on metabolic health via increasing glucose metabolism in the muscle and heart.
John R Ussher; Gary D Lopaschuk; Arduino Arduini
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2013-10-24
Journal Detail:
Title:  Atherosclerosis     Volume:  231     ISSN:  1879-1484     ISO Abbreviation:  Atherosclerosis     Publication Date:  2013 Dec 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-11-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0242543     Medline TA:  Atherosclerosis     Country:  Ireland    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  456-61     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, 5-1001-DD, 25 Orde Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 3H7, Canada. Electronic address:
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