Aspirin may help reduce risk for stroke and heart disease

Aspirin may help reduce risk for stroke and heart disease (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A team at the Cleveland Clinic is the first to discover that a common nutrient in many people's diet might be linked to a problem leading to heart disease and stroke.

The good news is that there may be a fix for it, too.

Egg yolks and meat contain a nutrient called choline, which is important to the body for many reasons such as brain and liver function, but a study in the journal “Circulation” found that it can also elevate some bacteria in the gut called “TMAO.”

Researchers found that the bacteria changes a response in your blood that can raise stroke and heart attack risk.

The good news is that aspirin appears to counteract or work against that response. A low dose of aspirin was all that was needed.

If certain people could be tested for the elevated gut bacteria, then those who are already known to be at risk for heart problems or stroke might be able to be prescribed low doses of aspirin or other lifestyle changes to reduce their overall risk for complications.

In all likelihood, that certain group would be people with high blood pressure or those with a family history of complications.

The research also may help explain why a plant-based diet might help people stay healthy overall.

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