Health-e-Solutions comment: The endotoxemia (bacterial toxins in the bloodstream) that follows a meal of animal products and results in inflammation and stiffened arteries may come from the food itself rather than from one’s own gut bacteria.

A Western-style diet is associated with increased levels of endotoxin activity (endotoxemia), and a prudent-style diet (containing moderately greater amounts of omega -3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin E than the Western-style diet) is linked to reduced endotoxemia, according to a study published in the May issue of Gastroenterology.

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