Red meat linked to heart risk

There's a very easy way to dramatically slash your risk of heart attack, stroke, and even death.

It's not something that'll take months or even years to kick in, either.

This one simple change could cause your risk to plunge in as little as a month!

But, if you're like a lot of Americans, it's a change that can be tough to make -- because it involves cutting back on one of our dinnertime staples.

It's red meat.

You know you should eat less of it, and I hope the latest research finally gives you the excuse you need to cut back -- because it finds that diehard carnivores die much more easily than folks who eat a little less.

The key is in something called trimethylamine N-oxide, better known as TMAO. It's the stuff the bacteria in your gut pump out as they help digest meat (especially red meat) and dairy.

The higher your levels, the higher your risk.

And if you have the highest levels -- a sign you're eating too much red meat -- you're SIX TIMES more likely to suffer a serious cardiovascular problem within 30 days, including heart attack, stroke, or emergency surgery to force open blocked arteries.

You're also six times more likely to DIE in that time, when compared to folks with lower levels of TMAO, according to the study at the world-famous Cleveland Clinic.

Over the long-term, the outlook is still pretty grim. High TMAO levels can almost double your risk of death over seven years.

The reason is pretty simple: When TMAO climbs inside your arteries, it doesn't leave.

It sticks to the artery walls, like a coat of paint that never quite dries. When cholesterol and other debris pass through your arteries, they can get caught in the "wet paint" of TMAO and stick there, too.

That's how you get the ugly buildups that lead to narrow, stiffer arteries.

If you've been eating red meat often for years, odds are you've got a pretty good layer of TMAO in your arteries... and probably some buildup in there, too.

Don't worry -- there are easy ways to clear it all out before you become one of the statistics I just mentioned.

First, eat more fiber, which can help your gut bacteria to work more efficiently so they don't pump out as much TMAO.

And second, consider resveratrol supplements, especially if you're already facing a certain amount of heart risk. This natural antioxidant is not only terrific for your overall cardiovascular health, but it can also reduce TMAO and help clear the ugly buildups from your arteries.

For a more personal approach to your cardiovascular health, make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.