Consuming Too Much Red Meat May Increase Levels Of Chemical Linked To Heart Diseases: Study

Been consuming too much bacon, beef or mutton? A study conducted by Cleveland Clinic and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has suggested that it may increase levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO)- a chemical linked to elevated risk of heart disease.

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Consuming Too Much Red Meat May Increase Levels Of Chemical Linked To Heart Diseases: Study

Highlights

  1. Meat lovers love to indulge in red meats like beef and bacon
  2. Diet that is rich in red meats may result in increased levels of TMAO
  3. The chemical is linked to increased risk of heart diseases

Red meat may taste very delicious and it may top the list of every meat lover's list of most delicious foods, but it is not said to be healthy. When it comes to heart health, red meat is said to be one of the worst foods to consume, as it has been concluded by a number of studies conducted by health and nutrition experts. A new study, conducted by experts at Cleveland Clinic and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has found that following a diet that is rich in red meats may result in increased levels of a chemical, which is linked to an elevated risk of heart diseases. The study said that eating too much red meat may lead to excessive secretion of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) from the gut. The study, albeit a small one conducted among 113 men and women, is a warning for those relying heavily on meats like bacon, mutton and beef as their dietary source of proteins.

Published in the European Heart Journal, the findings of the study titled, "Impact of chronic dietary red meat, white meat, or non-meat protein on trimethylamine N-oxide metabolism and renal excretion in healthy men and women" concluded that consumption of various different kinds of animal meats and other dietary protein sources had different effects on the production of TMAO in the body. The participants were asked to follow three different diets- one rich in white meats, a second one rich in red meats and another one rich in non-dietary protein sources. The study concluded that the level of TMAO present in the bodies of those who consume a diet rich in red meats was triple the level of the chemical present in bodies of those whose diets were rich in either white meats like chicken and turkey or even non-meat (or vegetarian or vegan) protein sources. But it's not all doom and gloom for people who have been loading up on bacon and beef.

The study also said that the effects of diet rich in red meats on the levels of TMAO were reversible through removal of these meats from meals. This means that people may be able to reduce the level of TMAO in their bodies and consequently their risks of heart diseases, by switching to white meats or non-meat or vegetarian sources of protein. TMAO is a chemical produced in the gut during the digestion process and the nutrients found in red meat are partially responsible for increasing levels of the chemical in the body. The study's authors said that the study's results reiterated the fact that people should limit their consumption of red meats and instead follow a more heart-healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based protein sources.



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