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New Test Helps Reduce Arterial Plaque

A new blood test that measures levels of TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide) — a metabolite derived from gut bacteria — can powerfully predict future risk for heart attack and stroke.

The new test — now available at our office and run by Cleveland Heart Lab measures blood levels of TMAO, a compound produced by the liver after intestinal bacteria digest certain nutrients: L-carnitine (found in red meat) and lecithin (found in egg yolks, meats and full-fat dairy products). Lecithin is also pumped into the intestines as a component of bile, so all individuals, regardless of diet, feed their gut microbes lecithin and have potential for elevated levels of TMAO.

The higher the level of TMAO is, the higher the risk of accumulation of arterial plaque. 

In December 2015, the Cleveland Clinic reported they’d found a non-toxic chemical compound called DMB that could reduce TMAO.

DMB kept TMAO levels down and also led to a shrinking of artery plaque and lower levels of TMA-producing gut bacteria.

Insurance accepts this test and treatment options are avialible at our office.