Like any other non-vegetarian, 32-year-old Pranjal Seth grew up with a hearty goat meat curry as a Sunday staple. But since genetics is not on his side, with his family members having heart problems over the years, he has modified his eating habits. But he always wanted to know how mutton harms his heart and whether he could be allowed an occasional indulgence.
Now a research paper has zeroed in on the reason why a diet high in red meat increases the risk of heart disease. It has also been found to make some people more vulnerable to the cardiovascular effects of red meat. Turns out, this food trigger resides in the gut.
According to a study published earlier this month by the American Heart Association (AHA) journal, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, a metabolite called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) is released when gut microbes metabolize phosphatidylcholine (PC). Which is a chemical found. In red meat and egg yolk. Now it accelerates the formation of blood clots and plaque in the blood vessels of animals. High TMAO levels have been linked to a higher risk of death in people with heart disease. According to the study’s lead co-author, Meng Wang, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Somerville, Massachusetts, TMAO has been on researchers’ radar for years. “We also know that TMAO can be produced by our gut microbes during the digestion of red meat and other foods that come from animals. In theory this could potentially explain why eating red meat increases the risk of heart disease.” Why is there an increased risk of disease (CVD),” she said. Now researchers are looking to assess the extent to which meat consumption increases TMAO levels, which increase cardiovascular risk.
What is a metabolite?
Responding to the study, Dr Ajay Kaul, President, Cardiac Sciences, Fortis Hospital, Noida, says, “It was known for a very long time that consumption of red meat is more likely to cause a heart attack than white meat. which includes fish. And chicken without skin. It has recently been found that a metabolite released during the digestion of red meat is responsible for a higher incidence of heart attacks in people who consume large amounts of red meat. This new chemical is caused by the activity of normal microbes inside our gut. Excessive consumption of red meat increases the level of LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, and also puts us at risk of blood clots and plaque formation inside the blood vessels. It is also important to understand that red meat is high in fat, cholesterol and sodium. They not only increase the risk of heart diseases but also increase the blood pressure. Red meat, beef, pork and lamb contain more saturated fat than chicken and fish. ,
Risks associated with different meats
Grading the heart risk of many meats, Dr. Kaul says, “You can say that goat liver itself contains a lot of protein, B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin B12, folic acid and zinc. . Lamb contains more saturated fat, which is the bad cholesterol, and puts you at a higher risk of heart diseases than other meats. It is actually the lamb beets that are the worst and we must understand that the excessive amount of fat in lamb is also very harmful. ,
Should we give up on red meat altogether?
“The answer is no, it’s fine if consumed within limits. Three portions per week which is about 300 grams cumulatively is fine. Of course, the study also points to the potential for different effects as each individual In how the gut microbiome responds differently. How each body reacts to different foods can help nutritionists determine the best diet for each individual,” advises Dr. Kaul.
The new research involved nearly 4,000 Americans over the age of 65 whose health and diet were tracked for decades as part of the Heart Health Study (CHS). About two-thirds of the participants were female and about 90 percent were white. Participants were tracked for at least 12 years, while some were followed for more than 20 years. In addition to diet, the study tracked blood biomarkers of TMAO and two related metabolites, gamma-butyrobetaine (GBB), and crotonobetaine, which both come from a chemical in red meat called L-carnitine. In the study, a person’s risk of CVD increased by 22 percent for every portion of red meat, especially processed meat, that they consumed daily.