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Friday, October 24, 2014

New paper associates colorectal cancer with trimethylamine-oxide

Paper : TMAO and colorectal cancer
A new research paper by researchers at Cornell University have hypothesized that trimethylame-n-oxide (TMAO) may be associated with colorectal cancer. This would be the 2nd major disease to be hypothesized to be associated with higher TMAO levels. The other is heart disease, first postulated in 2012 by Dr Stanley Hazen et al at Cleveland Clinic.

Paper :  
Plasma choline metabolites and colorectal cancer risk in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study : Link
Cornell University

How might this help trimethylaminuria ?  
For people who feel they have a metabolic malodor problem caused solely by trimethylamine, now that TMAO has been associated with 2 major diseases in humans, it is likely that much research will now take place regarding trimethylamine in humans, and possibly how to prevent or neutralise it. So TMAU patients are likely to be a big benefactor of this research.

TMAO and TMA
Trimethylamine-n-oxide (TMAO) is oxidized trimethylamine (TMA). Trimethylamine in humans is thought to be generated solely from any TMA or TMAO ingested (e.g. fish), or by gut flora altering TMA precursors in the diet (such as choline and carnitine). In healthy humans the TMA is oxidized by FMO3 enzyme into TMAO and then excreted. You would think that TMAU people would not have high TMAO levels (and so less likely to be exposed to a hypothesized Heart Disease or cancer risk), but in many cases it seems TMAU people have both high TMA and TMAO levels. Keep in mind the connection to these 2 major diseases is not the consensus (yet).       

FMO3
While they are likely to be looking at ways of reducing/blocking TMA, at the moment we do not know if they will take an interest in FMO3 enzyme and it's proper functioning as well. Currently FMO3 is a 'mixed function oxidase' enzyme generally regarded as a 'negligible' player in the grand scheme of enzymes in the body, although this is likely an underestimation. However, if they stop/reduce/neutralise TMA then they may not feel it necessary to look at ways to make FMO3 function properly. Only time will tell.

However, it is hoped that now there will be plenty of research around the world at how to lower TMA in humans. 

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