The word "stroke" has many meanings: to pat or rub gently; the striking of a clock (the stroke of midnight); and of course, to have a blood clot that lodges in the brain.
Someone in the U.S. has a stroke every 40 seconds — and stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability, reducing mobility in more than half of stroke survivors ages 65 and older.
But don't think they're just a problem for seniors. In 2009, 34% of people hospitalized for a stroke were younger than 65 — and 15% to 30% of them were disabled as a result.
What's fueling the damage done to the nearly 800,000 Americans who have a stroke every year?
Cleveland Clinic researchers have confirmed that what goes on in your gut biome directly affects how severe a stroke you might have, and how impaired you are after the event.
Building on 10 years of research, their new study, published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, provides proof that that the adverse effects of TMAO — a byproduct of digesting red meat, egg yolks, cheese, and other animal products — on the gut biome increase the severity of brain damage as well as motor and cognitive deficits from a stroke.
Of course, you don't want to have a stroke, but if you do have one you want to have your best shot at a robust recovery.
"Switching to plant-based protein sources helps lower TMAO," says Cleveland Clinic researcher Dr. Weifei Zhu.
If you do that, it’s a stroke of genius.