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Is red meat really bad for your heart? The answer may be in your gut



Is red meat really bad for your heart? The answer may be in your gut

Countless articles and research studies have warned against a diet rich in red meat because it’s associated with an increased risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), a common type of heart disease that decreases blood flow due to blocked arteries, putting people at risk for stroke and heart attack. One new study is exploring a reason why.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Roughly 697,000 Americans died from heart disease in 2020, which is approximately 1 in 5 deaths. Lifestyle factors have been shown to improve heart health, including eating a diet rich in nutrients, exercising, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy body weight. And now new research suggests your gut may also play a role.

A new study published Monday in the American Heart Association’s peer-reviewed journal, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, delves into the role of metabolites, or the chemicals in the gut created from digestion of food, and how certain metabolites may increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. It’s the first study to look at the link between animal-based foods, ASCVD, and metabolites.

Eating a diet rich in meat, specifically red and processed meat, was associated with a higher risk for ASCVD, and a 22% increased risk for every 1.1 serving of meat a day, the study concluded. The increased risk was attributed to the trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) metabolite, which is produced by the gut microbiome after eating red meat. 

“The study helps us better understand why meat intake is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease,” says Meng Wang, co-first author on the study and postdoctoral scholar at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “Understanding the gut’s role can help researchers develop novel interventions that target the interplay between diet and gut microbiome to reduce cardiovascular risk.”

The study included about 4,000 adults with an average age of 73. Researchers looked at blood samples to determine people’s cardiovascular health and the amount of metabolites they produced. Participants did not have a diagnosed cardiovascular disease at the start of the study and were monitored from 12.5 to 26 years. 

The researchers asked how often participants consumed animal foods, including red meat, processed meat, fish, chicken and eggs. Their lifestyle choices, medical history, health conditions, and sociodemographic status were also taken into account. 

Understanding how the gut works can help people better understand who may be at risk, says Dr. Wilson Tang, a cardiologist who was involved with the study. 

“These findings provided some insights as to why some people may be more vulnerable than others if the gut bacteria that lives inside them can generate more metabolites that can influence their hosts’ organ functions,” says Tang. 

The study notes that while previous research looked at blood cholesterol and blood pressure as key links between meat consumption and heart health, this new research found three main pathways associated with higher risk for ASVD, including TMAO, blood glucose levels, and inflammation. The study didn’t find a significant link between meat intake and cholesterol levels as it relates to heart health risk. 

“Our findings … suggest that components in red meat like L-carnitine and heme iron (which has been associated with type 2 diabetes) may play a more important role in health than saturated fat and cholesterol, and need to be better studied,” says Wang. 

The findings further outline the role of preventive measures for older adults, where research in gut microbiome and cardiovascular health have been limited, Wang says.  

Overall, researchers hope people take away the importance of preventative measures early in life, with a key focus on moderation for red and processed meat specifically. 


Coinbase’s near-term outlook is ‘still grim’, JPMorgan says, while BofA is more positive about firm’s ability to face crypto winter



Coinbase's near-term outlook is 'still grim', JPMorgan says, while BofA is more positive about firm's ability to face crypto winter

Coinbase is well positioned to successfully navigate this crypto winter and take market share, Bank of America said in a research report Tuesday. It maintained its buy recommendation following the exchange’s second-quarter results.

The results warrant “a muted stock reaction,” the report said. Net revenue of $803 million was below the bank’s and consensus estimates, while its adjusted $151 million loss before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization was better than the street expected. Importantly, the company remains “cautiously optimistic” it can reach its goal of no more than $500 million of adjusted EBITDA loss for the full year, the report added.

Coinbase shares fell almost 8% in premarket trading to $80.74.

Bank of America notes that Coinbase had no counterparty exposure to the crypto insolvencies witnessed in the second quarter. The company also has a “history of no credit losses from financing activities, holds customer assets 1:1, and any lending activity of customer crypto is at the discretion of the customer, with 100%+ collateral required.” These rigorous risk-management practices will be a “positive long-term differentiator” for the stock, the bank said.

JPMorgan said Coinbase had endured another challenging quarter, while noting some positives.

Trading volume and revenue were down materially. Subscription revenue was also lower, but would have been much worse were it not for higher interest rates, it said in a research report Wednesday.

The company is taking steps on expense management, and in addition to the June headcount reductions, is scaling back marketing and pausing some product investments, the note said.

The bank says the company’s near-term outlook is “still grim,” noting that the exchange expects a continued decline in 3Q 2022 monthly transacting users (MTUs) and trading volumes, but says Coinbase could take more “cost actions” if crypto prices fall further.

JPMorgan is less optimistic than Bank of America about the company in the near term, saying pressure on revenue from falling crypto markets will have a negative impact on the stock price. Still, it sees positives including higher interest rates, from which the firm will generate revenue. It also sees opportunities for the exchange to grow its user base, leveraging almost $6 billion of cash. The surge in crypto prices in July, and the forthcoming Ethereum Merge are also seen as positive catalysts, it added.

The bank maintained its neutral rating on the stock and raised its price target to $64 from $61.

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Elon Musk sold $6.9B in Tesla stock in case he’s forced to buy Twitter



Elon Musk sold $6.9B in Tesla stock in case he's forced to buy Twitter

Elon Musk sold $6.9 billion of his shares in Tesla Inc., the billionaire’s biggest sale on record, saying he needed cash in case he is forced to go ahead with his aborted deal to buy Twitter Inc.

“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted late Tuesday after the sales were disclosed in a series of regulatory filings. 

Asked by followers if he was done selling and would buy Tesla stock again if the $44 billion deal doesn’t close, Musk responded: “Yes.”

Tesla’s chief executive officer offloaded about 7.92 million shares on Aug. 5, according to the new filings. The sale comes just four months after the world’s richest person said he had no further plans to sell Tesla shares after disposing of $8.5 billion of stock in the wake of his initial offer to buy Twitter.  

Musk last month said he was terminating the agreement to buy the social network where he has more than 102 million followers and take it private, claiming the company has made “misleading representations” over the number of spam bots on the service. Twitter has since sued to force Musk to consummate the deal, and a trial in the Delaware Chancery Court has been set for October. 

In May, Musk dropped plans to partially fund the purchase with a margin loan tied to his Tesla stake and increased the size of the equity component of the deal to $33.5 billion. He had previously announced that he secured $7.1 billion of equity commitments from investors including billionaire Larry Ellison, Sequoia Capital, and Binance. 

“I’ll put the odds at 75% that he’s buying Twitter. I’m shocked,” said Gene Munster, a former technology analyst who’s now a managing partner at venture-capital firm Loup Ventures. “This is going to be a headwind for Tesla in the near term. In the long term, all that matters is deliveries and gross margin.”

At the weekend, Musk tweeted that if Twitter provided its method of sampling accounts to determine the number of bots and how they are confirmed to be real, “the deal should proceed on original terms.” 

Musk, 51, has now sold around $32 billion worth of stock in Tesla over the past 10 months. The disposals started in November after Musk, a prolific Twitter user, polled users of the platform on whether he should trim his stake. The purpose of the latest sales wasn’t immediately clear.  

Tesla shares have risen about 35% from recent lows reached in May, though are still down about 20% this year. 

With a $250.2 billion fortune, Musk is the world’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, but his wealth has fallen around $20 billion this year as Tesla shares declined.    

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The rent is too d*mn high for Gen Z: Younger generations are ‘squeezed the most’ by higher rents, BofA says



The rent is too d*mn high for Gen Z: Younger generations are 'squeezed the most' by higher rents, BofA says

Most of Gen Z is too young to remember the 2010 New York gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan.

But over a decade later, they would probably agree with his signature issue (and catchphrase): the rent is too damn high.

This July, median rent payments were 7.4% higher than during the same period last year, according to a Bank of America report released Tuesday. 

The national median price for a one-bedroom apartment has been hitting new highs nearly every month this summer. It was $1,450 for July, according to rental platform Zumper. In the country’s largest city, New York, average rent exceeded a shocking $5,000 a month for the first time ever in June. 

But inflation in the rental market hasn’t hit each generation equally, and no one is getting squeezed harder by the higher monthly payments as Gen Z. Those born after 1996 have seen their median rent payment go up 16% since last July, compared to just a 3% increase for Baby Boomers, BofA internal data shows. 
“Younger consumers are getting squeezed the most by higher rent inflation,” BofA wrote.

The great rent comeback

Early in the pandemic, landlords slashed rents and gave significant COVID discounts to entice tenants to stay instead of leaving urban areas. Once those deals started expiring in 2021, many landlords suddenly raised payments once again, sometimes asking for over double their pandemic value. 

Young people across the board have been hit hard, and rent burdens compared to age can be seen even within a single generation. Younger millennials had their median rent payment grow 11% from last year, while the median payment for older millennials rose 7%. Gen X experienced a 5% median rent increase, according to BofA. 

It’s not a surprise, then, that Gen Z feels so strapped for cash. The majority of young people, 61%, said they want to receive their wages daily instead of twice a week, a practice typically reserved for workers living paycheck to paycheck, according to a report from the Center for Generational Kinetics, which specializes in research across the generations. Rising rent inflation has even priced nearly a third of Gen Zers out of the apartment search altogether. Around 29% of them have resorted to living at home as a “long-term housing solution,” according to a June survey from personal finance company Credit Karma.

It’s no wonder—the rent really is too high.

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