TMAU = lower risk of heart disease?

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TMAU = lower risk of heart disease?

Postby ferdinanda_000 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:43 pm

Hi everyone,

I just joined this forum a couple minutes ago as I was looking for some information on the treatment of TMAU. I've known about the possible connection between TMAU and heart disease for a while, but now that I found this forum, I thought I would post this. I can't say this is for sure, but I just wanted to post some potentially good news about TMAU, especially since all we ever hear is bad news (yeah, we stink, we get it, but otherwise our health is supposedly unaffected).

Well, I'm really interested in diet and health, and I've known for a long time that scientists have found a connection between heart disease and the odorless compound most peoples' bodies make from choline (the odorless compound is trimethylamine oxide or TMAO). Here is one article discussing the connection between TMAO and atherosclerosis, with more TMAO leading to more atherosclerosis. ... rt_disease

Here is an excerpt from the article:


"The researchers found 18 small molecules associated with fat buildup in the arteries. One of the best predictors turned out to be a by-product made when gut bacteria break down a fat called phosphatidylcholine (also known as lecithin).

"The more of this by-product, called trimethylamine N-oxide or TMAO, a person or mouse has in the blood, the higher the risk of getting heart disease, the researchers found.

"Gut bacteria are actually middlemen in TMAO production. The microbes convert lecithin to a gas that smells like rotten fish. Then an enzyme in the liver changes the foul-smelling gas to TMAO."


Anyway, as you all may know, our bodies do NOT produce this odorless compound from choline. Our bodies are unable to fully digest the choline into the odorless compounds.

My point is that I do think it's interesting that a compound our bodies can't produce (TMAO) is linked to heart disease.

Maybe that's why this genetic mutation has stuck around for so many years despite being such a stinky annoyance! Less heart disease means more opportunity to reproduce (as long as we don't put off our partners with our smell, hehe).

Anyway, just thought I'd share for some potentially good news about our condition.

Other people get heart disease from eating too much choline, and we may merely stink.

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Re: TMAU = lower risk of heart disease?

Postby admin » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:00 pm

Nice post, I have had email contact from someone in Canada which may be interesting, I have asked for a copy of the paper, maybe someone else can track it down, I'll keep you all posted, I have offered help and am waiting to hear back, the email I got is below;


My name is xxxx, and I work at a hospital in Vancouver, Canada. We met few patients with TMAU and found that they are relatively free from coronary heart disease even they have very high total and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. We are very interested in this association. We wrote a paper about the fish odor disease in Canadian Medical Association Journal last year.

Now we would like to get some information about the incidence of coronary heart disease in your group with TMAU and need you help. Thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

found this by the person who contacted me, intresting in this discussion as it seems tmau can be made worse by drugs used to treat high cholesterol
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Re: TMAU = lower risk of heart disease?

Postby kittycat » Fri Nov 02, 2012 1:40 pm

This is of interest to me too admin...

I was diagnosed with v high cholesterol early this year, despite being on a very healthy low cholesterol/choline diet..I was not surprised as it is inherited from my father's side and my older sibs were/are on statins...but I'd already researched statins, and sterols, and considered that they would not be suitable for me, being soy based and a compromise to the liver, and less effective for females..... My lovely GP was sympathetic and appeared to agree. I'll print off this new info and take it to my GP when the results of my latest tests are returned.

If my casenotes would help the Canadian study, I'm sure my GP would supply...It's probably the best hope we have for some research into piggy-back onto an illness the medical people do take seriously... Kx
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Re: TMAU = lower risk of heart disease?

Postby PoetFire » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:44 pm

The FMO3 enzyme is an oxidizing enzyme, and probably oxidizes 1,000s of substrates in humans (making things into their oxide)

I'm sure it will be associated with many things. That said, I'm not too sure about a tmao and heart disease connection. People with tmau2 usually have very high levels of TMAO ? even tmau1 a lot may have higher than normal tmao. Lot's of tmao means you should have overgrowth of the bacteria producing it.

FMO3 is provably involved with metabolism of many drugs, nicotine, hormones, neurotransmitters etc, so I am sure this will be where interest in understanding it will come from. Its one of a group of oxidizing enzymes but at the moment it is the most neglected (though not much seems to be known of most of them, the cyps etc).

I think this was the original tmao and heart disease paper (or a follow up)

This seems to be a follow up study in progress

Dr Hazen's lab is the lab MEBO are using for tmau testing.

Also I think they may be looking at a way of blocking the production of tma which I presume would also be a sort of roundabout cure for TMAU, but I believe tma may not be a major player in the metabolites people with FMO3 issues smell of, so would only work for a 'fish odor' (unless tma inhibits the enzyme or something)
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Re: TMAU = lower risk of heart disease?

Postby johnny54 » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:52 am

Heart disease is one of the scariest diseases. The most general type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which could be lead to heart attack.
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Re: TMAU = lower risk of heart disease?

Postby mariareese » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:58 am

@Johny.. You are right .. Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.

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