A new mechanism has been discovered that connects phosphatidyl choline (also called lecithin), a common dietary fat, along with intestinal microflora, to an increased risk of heart disease. The study shows that the heart risk of people with a diet high in the lipid depends on how the micro-organisms that live in their digestive tracts metabolize it.
When lecithin and choline were fed to mice, the substances were converted to a heart disease-forming product by the intestinal microbes. In humans, higher blood levels of choline and the heart disease forming microorganism products are strongly associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk.
According to Science Daily:
“... [D]ifferences in gut flora metabolism of the diet from one person to another appear to have a big effect on whether one develops heart disease.”