START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
583,020 people care about Real Food

How Red Meat Changes Your Gut Bacteria to Cause Heart Disease

How Red Meat Changes Your Gut Bacteria to Cause Heart Disease

It isn’t news that eating red meat can cause heart disease, but this part is new: if a vegetarian or vegan were to eat red meat, the meal would not trigger the process that causes disease because their bodies are different than meat-eaters’ bodies, according to a 2013 study. It turns out that it isn’t the fat or salt in red meat that kill; it’s the way meat changes the human body’s composition, resulting in hardened arteries. Let’s call it Revenge of the Cow.

The Revenge begins with L-carnitine, a chemical found in red meat. When a meat-eater’s gut microbes get hold of it, they work together to produce trimethylamine N-oxide, which, mercifully, is known by its initials: TMAO. It is TMAO that hardens arteries. High levels of it are “a solid warning sign of a potential heart attack or stroke,” says Advocate Health Care.

Long-established vegetarians and vegans’ microbes didn’t produce much TMAO at all when they ate red meat. The researchers concluded that non-meat eaters have a different mix of intestinal bacteria than meat-eaters do, and they are short on the one that makes TMAO. That is because L-carnitine changes the human gut’s demographics by increasing the number of bacteria that like it and partner with it to make TMAO. Without L-carnitine, those troublesome microbes don’t thrive.

It’s ironic. Meat-eaters warn me that my vegan diet will change my body in dangerous ways: They claim that my bones will get weaker, I’ll have less energy, I won’t be able to build muscle mass, and on and on. It turns out that all the while meat is changing their bodies for the worse — for one thing, besides the heart disease, processed and fatty meats are aging their bodies prematurely. In the meantime studies show that my diet is only boosting my health. Besides the oft-touted ease of weight loss on a healthy vegan diet and the resistance to many terminal illnesses, it makes me happier because it contains less arachidonic acid than animal products do, and arachidonic acid brings people down.

The study that revealed the Revenge of the Cows yielded a tool that will help doctors. They can measure patients’ TMAO levels to determine their risk of heart disease and make recommendations accordingly. That benefit got the study a spot on the American Heart Association’s 2013 list of top 10 advances in heart disease and stroke science.

And yet the AHA still won’t recommend not eating meat. It recommends cutting back on foods that are high in cholesterol, but that doesn’t mean cutting all animal products out of the diet. To the contrary, the AHA’s advice is to keep cholesterol to 300 mg a day — not zero. Only animal products contain cholesterol — there is none in vegan food — so this is a recommendation to continue eating meat, dairy and eggs.

The AHA specifically recommends eating lean meat, but, as LiveStrong contends, that doesn’t exclude red meat. It just means choosing to eat bisons’, ostriches’, or deers’ bodies over those of cows.

Are ostrich burgers really worth risking a heart attack for?

Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo credit: ATIC12

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

488 comments

+ add your own
9:48AM PDT on Aug 7, 2014

Just a quick comment - L-carnitine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) that is naturally produced in the body. Naturally produced IN THE BODY. So guess what? All the vegans have it too.

9:58PM PDT on Apr 29, 2014

When people believe things not based on reason and consideration of all the facts, including known results, it is called delusion. This can happen when only some partial truths are considered, giving a distortion of the whole truth. This can lead to false conviction in more ways than one, including, literally homicide. People who believe this study proves anything are wishful thinkers or deluded at best

3:18PM PDT on Apr 4, 2014

Don,
I watched most of that video, and that’s an hour I’d never get back…..!

While he went to great lengths to describe the differences between obligate carnivores & herbivores, there was hardly any mention of OMNIVORES. Why do you think some species have both carnivore & herbivore features? They are designed to eat BOTH animal & plant matter.

Why is this a propaganda video? Because he purposefully glossed over/ omitted some specifics. For example that all TRUE herbivores have mechanisms to digest cellulose. He specifically omitted to mention that horses/zebras/rabbits have a huge cecum with lots of bacteria (without which they die).

He also conveniently omitted to mention
-that humans do NOT have a large cecum or any other anatomical structure to specifically hold fibrolytic bacteria;
-that humans’ capacity to digest fiber is FAR LESS than any true herbivore; and
-that unlike for herbivores, gut bacteria are not essential for humans’ survival.

These are just a few IMPORTANT points omitted. There were many more. In brief, the whole thing was a smoke & mirror type manipulation of facts.

As I said Don, please read a textbook of comparative anatomy or digestive physiology.

8:02PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

Rainbow W cont.

Many are suicidal or turn to self-medicating. That’s why not reinforcing fantasies is best.

Just because someone does not see or understand what others do, does not mean that those that see or have that understanding are holding to a fantasy or something negative,It has a lot to do with ones perceptions which are coloured by a person's experience.

We need to find comfort in ourselves and those around us, not in something intangible.

I take comfort in both the people around me and God.

7:35PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

Rainbow W

“That faith has given me hope and hope is NEVER a bad thing.”
Psychologically it can be. It’s false hope.

False hope is not really, that is why it is called false hope

When one clings to something that is intangible, it makes that hope intangible. That’s why religious people are not mentally healthy.

I beg to differ on the overgeneralized statement that "religious people are mentally unhealthy", while it is true for some, it is NOT the case for all,Clearly you have a very jaded view of things.

As you said yourself you were depressed. Depression is genetic. I have seen many people in these states cling to religion and it does no good for most.

As I have mentioned there is a HUGE difference between religion and faith, religion is simply a set of dogma...a list of do's and don't's.It tends to be condemning.Faith on the other hand is much more spiritual, it is more about discovering yourself, the world around you and how you fit.Faith is positive and uplifting, religion is not.

Many are suicidal or turn to self-medicating. That’s why not reinforcing fantasies is best.

Since when is having belief in something positive a fantasy.That is what faith is about.I realize that there are people out there who don't believe in God(or similar) but that does not mean that those that do are believing in a fantasy because we actually have evidence that what we believe is true.Just because some one else does not see or understand wha

4:18PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

“That faith has given me hope and hope is NEVER a bad thing.”
Psychologically it can be. It’s false hope. When one clings to something that is intangible, it makes that hope intangible. That’s why religious people are not mentally healthy. As you said yourself you were depressed. Depression is genetic. I have seen many people in these states cling to religion and it does no good for most. Many are suicidal or turn to self-medicating. That’s why not reinforcing fantasies is best. We need to find comfort in ourselves and those around us, not in something intangible.

But you are right, veganism/vegetarianism is dogma or religion.

4:17PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

Let me spell it out for you again. A vegan diet kills. We are omnivorous. Vegetarians/vegans suffer from mental illness far more then omnis. That’s why jurisdictions are banning them for certain demographics [children]. It is harmful to the environment [more land and water to grow crops].

4:13PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

“You, as a psychologist, and studied on human biology,…”
Evidently you don’t understand what a psychologist is. I tried to explain it to you but you refuse to listen. There are 56 different divisions of psychology. Psychologists are generally described as being either "applied" or "research-oriented". The common terms used to describe this central division in psychology are "scientists" or "scholars" (those who conduct research) and "practitioners" or "professionals" (those who apply psychological knowledge). The training models endorsed by the APA require that applied psychologists be trained as both researchers and practitioners, and that they possess advanced degrees. Furthermore you think that a scientist from one field doesn’t know squat about another [field]. Fields overlap. I must understand physiology and nutrition. Mental health goes hand in hand with physical health. I have exhaustively “debunked” the China Study [actually it debunked itself]. Campbell intentional ignored his own data that contradicted his conclusion.

We even exhaustively pulled apart that quack “Dr.” Mills’ video. But you don’t listen or understand. This is what I mean by propaganda. You don’t debate. You pick and choose what you want to answer to and you don’t listen to those who know what they are talking about. This is fanaticism. Or you have a monetary interest.

Let me spell it out for you again. A vegan diet kills. We are

4:12PM PDT on Mar 24, 2014

“Faith is not an admirable trait.”
It seems you are doing the same. With diet. You admit you are not a scientist, yet when those who are say something counter to your ideology you disregard it. You even admit that you pick and choose what you read and what parts of a debate you will or will not answer. Reminds me of a lot of religious fanatics I’ve debated with.

“Hi Rainbow: I did ask you to pick one item to have a discussion with. Since you didn’t, I will pick what I consider the toughest one, myself.”
This is called diversion.

9:34PM PDT on Mar 23, 2014

Don S.

The more I read comments from you, the more my impression that you are a fool is backed up.

There is a huge difference between religion and faith...there is NOTHING wrong with faith; in fact those that attest to having some sort of faith are known to be much happier and healthier on average.

The problem with religion is dogma and dogma can affect many things that on the surface do not appear to be a religion but appearances can be deceiving.

It is clear that you have no concept of what faith is(it is NOT "superstition").If it wasn't for my faith, I likely would not be here because before I discovered the truth I was a pretty depressed and nihilistic individual.That faith has given me hope and hope is NEVER a bad thing.

Any group who shoves or imposes their "belief" upon another in a dogmatic like fashion is pushing a "religion" of sorts.You are in fact pushing the "religion" of vegetarianism.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

I think they are exaggerating with feminism. Women have everything they want, what else do they want? Too…

It's very discouraging to see people behave as if they are uninformed about plastic or other pollutants.…

ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.