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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Healthy Processed Foods Research » Research » Research Project #436478

Research Project: Inhibition of the Gut Microbial Metabolite Trimethylamine N9oxide (TMAO) Using Orange Peel to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

Location: Healthy Processed Foods Research

Project Number: 2030-41440-008-003-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Apr 1, 2019
End Date: Mar 31, 2025

Carnitine and choline, compounds found in some foods such as red meat and eggs, have been implicated in increasing risk of cardiovascular disease. Carnitine and choline are converted to trimethylamine by gut bacteria. Trimethylamine is absorbed and transformed into trimethylamine oxide (TMAO). Population studies and animal studies show an association between atherosclerosis and high levels of TMAO in the body. Orange peels have been shown to reduce TMAO.

The research proposes to identify the bioactive compounds in orange peels by screening compounds using a bacteria transformed with the enzyme that converts trimethylamine to TMAO. Preliminary short term studies will be conducted to determine if the compounds inhibit the conversion of carnitine or choline into trimethylamine. Mice will be fed the test compounds for three to six months to determine if the test compounds reduce arteriosclerosis. Changes in the gut microbiota as well as physiological changes in the mouse will be evaluated.