TMAO, Trimethylamine N-oxide
Gut microbes live symbiotically within the human digestive tract and play important roles in host defense, immunity, and nutrient processing and absorption. This diverse community is unique to each person and influenced by both acute and chronic dietary exposures to various food sources. Nutrients such as phosphatidylcholine (also known as lecithin), choline, and L-carnitine are abundant in animal-derived products such as red meat, egg yolk and full-fat dairy products. When consumed, these nutrients are processed by gut bacteria resulting in the release of various metabolites including TMA (trimethylamine) into the blood. TMA is then transported to the liver where it is converted into TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide) which has been shown to regulate various physiological processes involved in the development of atherosclerosis.