New Ways Meat Causes Heart Disease Discovered

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New Ways Meat Causes Heart Disease Discovered

From Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM)
April 2013

Researchers Discover New Ways Meat Causes Heart Disease
April 9, 2013

People who eat meat produce more artery-clogging intestinal byproducts than people who follow vegan and vegetarian diets, according to a new study from the Cleveland Clinic.

Researchers followed 2,595 heart patients and categorized them as omnivores, vegans, or vegetarians and found that those who consumed the most carnitine, present in animal products, increased their risk for heart disease by producing more artery-clogging metabolites. This study lends insight into other components of meat products, besides saturated fat and cholesterol, that may elevate the risk of heart disease.

Koeth RA, Wang Z, Levison BS, et al. Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine, a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis. Nat Med. Published online April 7, 2013.

AND

Component of Animal Products Increases Risk of Heart Disease
April 26, 2013

A byproduct of dietary choline, a component abundantly present in animal products, can lead to greater risk for heart attack, stroke, and death, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers followed 4,007 participants and found that those who had the highest levels of these byproducts were 2.5 times as likely to suffer from an adverse cardiovascular event, compared with those who had the lowest levels. The authors point out that a vegetarian or high-fiber diet can reduce choline intake and modulate the risk for heart disease.

Another recent study showed a similar mechanism for carnitine-rich meat products and heart disease.

Tang WHW, Wang Z, Levison BS, et al. Intestinal microbial metabolism of phosphatidylcholine and cardiovascular risk. N Engl J Med. 2013;368:1575-1584.



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