Here we go again! A new research with a new discovery about heart disease. They keep throwing all this info at you one study after the other, and it can be overwhelming at times. Take this one for instance, a team of NIH (National Institute of Health) funded researchers have found an allergen in red meat that may be responsible for heart disease in a portion of the population. It may contribute to plaque formation in the arteries. Say what?!
Why couldn’t they have found the cure for cancer or something right? Or maybe a food item besides avocado and broccoli that you could eat to your heart’s content and not get a heart attack from!?
If you’re a steak lover, it doesn’t matter which grass that cow has been grazing on, you might be allergic to it and not even know it! For real! Well, that’s what experts found in a small population in Virginia. ‘Allergy to red meat may be an under recognized factor in heart disease’.
The word allergy has a whole new meaning now. As if attacking our lungs wasn’t enough with all the sneezing and coughing and looking like Rudolph in the middle of Spring! Nope, allergies got adventurous! They weren’t getting enough attention playing go-cart, they had to go all Fast and Furious and have a head on collision with the heart! It’s only the most important organ that keeps us alive, nothing serious!
Ah! Ok, let’s calm down. This research is only ‘preliminary’, and there’s need for further clinical studies in more diverse geographical locations with larger populations. Yeah, let’s just declare war with all the burger joints and go vegan. It’s the apocalypse for meat lovers as we know it! Oops, weren’t we supposed to turn it down a notch? Let’s get real here, we have to reach a middle ground for things to work in our favor.
You know what, this might not be such bad news after all. Red meat consumption does increase the likelihood of heart disease because of its high cholesterol content. It also increases the risk of developing cancer as most of the commercially available red meat is processed.
Here’s a red meat list that you could look into, and maybe cut down on:
- Pork (no, it’s not white meat)
According to the WHO, cancer causing foods include:
- Corned Beef
- Beef Jerky
- Canned Meat
Cancer causes around 164 deaths per 100,000 men and women each year in U.S. The mortality rate is higher among men than women.
So, instead of having eggs with bacon for breakfast, you could just go cold turkey! Get it?
Turkey, poultry and fish are examples of white meat, that are good sources of protein and are great substitutes for the red stuff.
The allergen found in red meat is known as alpha-gal, a type of complex sugar. Sounds much like an alpha-male- sweet, complicated and dangerous in excess. Or not! Whatever you prefer!
In the study, researchers found increased levels of an antibody specific to red meat that was associated with higher levels of arterial plaque.
From a sample of 118 adults, 26% of them showed antibodies to alpha-gal, indicating sensitivity to red meat. The quantity of plaque was not only 30% higher in these individuals, but was of unstable nature. That means their chances of getting a heart attack or stroke was higher than the others.
Scientists also found that people who have been bitten by the Star Lone tick have an increased sensitivity to the allergen and are more likely to show full blown symptoms. So, google ‘tick infested regions’ before you plan your next vacation!
Other common heart diseases causes include:
- Bad eating habits
- Lack of exercise
- Excessive alcohol
While further investigation is required, the current information has provided another gateway for targeting and preventing heart disease. The only treatment for allergic individuals is avoidance of red meat altogether!
Nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it, and nothing is more important than your health. If you have more questions on heart disease, cancer and more, please go to www.mylivdedoctors.com to get expert advice from a Board-certified Physician or Specialist.