Study links red meat consumption to heart disease in older adults

Chemicals produced in the digestive tract by gut microbes after eating red meat may help explain some of the increased risk of heart disease (MCV) is associated with the consumption of this food, according to a new study published in the scientific journal “Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology”.

Worldwide, heart disease is the leading cause of deathAlthough the risk of developing heart disease, including heart attack and stroke, Increases with age, other risk factors are influenced by lifestyle.

Lifestyles and behaviors known to improve heart health include eating healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables; regular physical activity, Enough sleep; maintaining a healthy weight; stop smoking; and controls high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and blood sugar.

“Most of the attention to red meat consumption and health has focused on dietary saturated fat and blood cholesterol levels. Based on our results, new interventions may be useful to address the interaction between red meat and gut microbiota To help us find ways to reduce cardiovascular risk,” says study co-author Dr. Meng Wang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston.

Previous research has shown that certain metabolites (chemical by-products of food digestion) are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. One of these metabolites is LTMAO, Trimethylamine N-oxideProduced by gut bacteria to digest red meat, which contains high amounts of the chemical L-carnitine.

high levels of TMAO andHuman blood may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes. However, it is not known whether TMAO and related metabolites L-carnitine may help explain the effects of red meat consumption on cardiovascular risk and the extent to which they may contribute to the cardiovascular risk associated with meat consumption.

To understand these questions, the researchers who conducted this study measured metabolite levels in blood samples. He also checked whether blood sugar, swelling, pressure Blood pressure and blood cholesterol may explain the higher cardiovascular risk associated with red meat consumption.

Study participants were approximately Of the 5,888 adults, 4,000 were initially admitted between 1989 and 1990 For the US Heart Health Study. Participants selected for the present study were free of clinical heart disease at the time of enrollment.

The average age of participants at enrollment was 73, nearly two-thirds of participants were female, and 88% of participants identified as white. participants had an average follow-up time 12.5 years and up to 26 years in some cases.

Participants’ medical history, lifestyle, health status, and sociodemographic characteristics such as family income, education, and age were assessed during follow-up appointments.

Various blood biomarkers were measured at the start of the study and again in 1996-1997. Fasting blood samples frozen at -80°C were tested for levels of various gut microbiomes associated with red meat consumption, such as TMAO, gamma-butyrobetaine and crotonobetaine.

In addition, all study participants completed two validated food frequency questionnaires regarding their eating habits. Normal dietary intake including consumption of red meat, processed meat, fish, poultry, and eggs at baseline and again between 1995 and 19996.

In the first questionnaire, participants indicated how often they went from “never to” in the last 12 months.almost every day or at least five times a weekbased on the average portion size, which varies by food source.

In the second questionnaire, the frequency of the ten categories of average intake over the past 12 months was used, i.e. “never or less than once a month” to “more than six servings a day”», with defined standard portions.

for analysis, the researchers compared Risk of heart disease in participants who ate various amounts of animal foods (i.e., red meat, processed meat, fish, chicken, and eggs).


They found that eating more meat, especially red meat and processed meats, was associated with a higher risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease – a 22% increased risk for every 1.1 servings per day.

According to the authors, an increase in TMAO and metabolites Drugs in the blood account for about a tenth of this increased risk. They also noted that common blood sugar and inflammation pathways may help explain the relationship between red meat consumption and heart disease.

Blood sugar and inflammation also appear to be more important in the link between red meat consumption and heart disease than pathways related to blood cholesterol or blood pressure. fish consumptionPoultry and eggs were not significantly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

“Research is needed to better understand the potential health effects L-carnitine and other substances found in red meat, such as heme iron, which have been linked to type 2 diabetes, rather than just focusing on saturated fat,” says Wang.