Though red meat is one of the richest source of a powerful antioxidant called, lipoic acid, apart from harboring other essentials like iron, creatine, minerals and vitamins, findings from various studies suggest that red meat consumption is linked to significant health risks such as an increased chance of developing cardiovascular disease and even bowel cancer.
The gut bacteria
In a new study, researchers finally have an answer to explain why the consumption of red meat is considered bad for the health especially heart. Our gut bacteria are the culprit to be blamed for these problem. The study gave insight on the process by which bacteria present in gut transform the nutrient of red meat into metabolites that hardens and narrow arteries and thus increasing the probability of developing heart ailments. With the findings, scientists hope to formulate new drugs or tools to curb or block the development of heart problems by this pathway and making red meat safe for intake.
Scientists explain that gut bacteria converts one nutrient known as L-carnitine into metabolites that slowly build up as hard fat that stick on the walls of arteries, increasing the danger of strokes and heart attacks. Earlier studies showed that red meat is converted into a compound known as trimethylamine-N-oxide that leads to problems with arteries. But now researchers have found another injurious substance, whose rate of production is 1,000 times higher. The same gut bacteria that convert L-carnitine nutrient, naturally produces this substance, called gamma-butyrobetaine.
Healthy way of consuming red meat
Based on these findings and further experiments, the researchers propose to find a healthy way to consume red meat. To reduce impact on health, they plan to target the bacteria that are responsible for making meat unhealthy. This might be achieved with simple way as prescribing a probiotic compound similar to the one found in yoghurt, which is known to change the balance of gut bacteria.
Now that the main culprit causing the problem is known, researchers are not far from findings a solution for this problem. This indeed is a good news for all the red meat lovers who very soon can have their steaks without the tension of developing risk of heart diseases. Till then remember, moderation is the key that leads to a long and healthy life.
Image: American Heart Association
Source: Medical Daily