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Author Topic: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?  (Read 5478 times)

Blade78

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Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« on: April 08, 2013, 12:19:16 pm »
 Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
Big front page article in paper this morning about a study done by Cleveland Clinic researchers

http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/i...l#incart_river

The researchers have supposedly shown that high carnitine levels lead to an increase of a substance called TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide)which influences hardening of the arteries.
 
They have previously shown the same thing with high levels of lecithin. I don't know if it's their words or just the author of the piece, but it states that lecithin is common to meat products. Which interested me, given that every time I've ever seen it on a label, it's preceded by the word "soy". So I was wondering if there was some anti-meat bias going on here. (And even if it was the reporters words, it's very possible he got his info from the researchers).

Furthering the potential anti-meat bias, the reporter states that there is a "well understood" link between red meat and heart disease, although the mechanism isn't understood, so the researchers were attempting to figure that out. Again, that's the reporters words, but it seems likely the researchers were operating under that premise as well. You don't search for a mechanism that you think causes something if you don't already think that "something" is true.

But my understanding is that the link isn't nearly as well established as this makes it sound. So the researchers could've introduced several built in biases, even subconsciously. Also, a lot of the studies are in rats. But it's not enough to just say that and subsequently dismiss all results; it may be necessary to explain why the rat model isn't applicable.

Long story short; does anyone know about this potential mechanism? Has anyone seen their studies? (A large cohort study of humans was conducted which they say validates their rat models, but does it really?) Any thoughts in general?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2013, 12:21:11 pm by watchntv »
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PeakT

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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 02:39:10 pm »
Carnitinre?  That's going to send shock waves if it turns out there is any truth in it.
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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2013, 02:39:10 pm »


Quincy

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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2013, 03:53:05 pm »
Here is a pretty good article from the NYT's I read this morning. Maybe it has some additional info for you. Sounds interesting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/health/study-points-to-new-culprit-in-heart-disease.html?exprod=myyahoo
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PeakT

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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 05:39:47 pm »
Here is a pretty good article from the NYT's I read this morning. Maybe it has some additional info for you. Sounds interesting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/health/study-points-to-new-culprit-in-heart-disease.html?exprod=myyahoo

For those who don't know, the Cleveland Clinic is where Dr. Esselstyn works.
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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2013, 05:39:47 pm »


PeakT

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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2013, 03:31:22 am »
Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
Big front page article in paper this morning about a study done by Cleveland Clinic researchers

http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/i...l#incart_river

The researchers have supposedly shown that high carnitine levels lead to an increase of a substance called TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide)which influences hardening of the arteries.
 
They have previously shown the same thing with high levels of lecithin. I don't know if it's their words or just the author of the piece, but it states that lecithin is common to meat products. Which interested me, given that every time I've ever seen it on a label, it's preceded by the word "soy". So I was wondering if there was some anti-meat bias going on here. (And even if it was the reporters words, it's very possible he got his info from the researchers).

Furthering the potential anti-meat bias, the reporter states that there is a "well understood" link between red meat and heart disease, although the mechanism isn't understood, so the researchers were attempting to figure that out. Again, that's the reporters words, but it seems likely the researchers were operating under that premise as well. You don't search for a mechanism that you think causes something if you don't already think that "something" is true.

But my understanding is that the link isn't nearly as well established as this makes it sound. So the researchers could've introduced several built in biases, even subconsciously. Also, a lot of the studies are in rats. But it's not enough to just say that and subsequently dismiss all results; it may be necessary to explain why the rat model isn't applicable.

Long story short; does anyone know about this potential mechanism? Has anyone seen their studies? (A large cohort study of humans was conducted which they say validates their rat models, but does it really?) Any thoughts in general?

Fantastic post watchntv!  I actually saw this later in the idea in a Spanish health news feed.  Incredible, eh?  Very counterintuitive.  (And, yes, I know it's just one study.)

I feel pretty warm and fuzzy cuzz I very rarely eat beef or pork but do eat a lot of egg whites.  Notice the carnitine levels in these (100 gram servings) per Wiki:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnitine

Beef ~95mg
Pork ~27mg
Eggs ~0

NOTE:  Chicken and fish are in the 3-4 mg range.
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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2013, 03:44:49 am »
By the way, in a continuing effort to protect anyone visiting this site, I put a caution in about carnitine here in my secondary erectile supplements section:

http://www.peaktestosterone.com/guide

and I added it into my page (see #3)  on 15 Ways Meat Will Eat Your Lunch;

http://www.peaktestosterone.com/meat_risks

THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON TRT/TESTOSTERONE:
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And check out my New Peak Testosterone Program: http://www.peaktestosterone.com/peak_testosterone_program
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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2013, 02:31:09 pm »
Very interesting to read what the Paleo diet folks say about the news.  They were already stirred up by a new book called Paleofantasy and now this news.  One of the big leaders of the Paleo movement is a guy named Rob Wolf and I think he even sells carnitine.  Regardless, it will be interesting to see what the supplement companies do with the news.

Even Life Extension Foundation sells carnitine.  Will they retract?  Issue warnings?  We'll see who has a conscience and who doesn't, eh?

Anyway, the Paleo forums are already discussing this.  Here is an interesting thread about the new book Paleofantasy that had them already talking:

http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/the-paleo-diet--debunked%E2%80%94what-took-so-long--202100492.html
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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 10:43:49 pm »
It's interesting to see the reaction of the meat-eating community.  One interesting article was this one from VitalChoices (seller of Alaskan salmon, etc.):

"Beef Scare Overblown?  Closer look eases artery concerns related to the carnitine abundant in beef and red meats"

http://www.vitalchoice.com/shop/pc/articlesView.asp?id=2027

Notice the assertions:

1.  "Incredibly, the authors failed to mention that many other foods – including fish and plant foods clearly linked to lower risk of heart disease – have more carnitine and/or TMAO than beef does."

I don't know where they came up with this one.  Beef and pork have MUCH more carnitine than any other meat and MUCH MUCH MUCH more than any plant food that I know of.  So someone didn't do their homework here.

By the way, I love VitalChoice overall, so I'm not attacking them.  I'm just posting this to show how the meat-eaters are really squirming with this one.

2.  "And many studies – including randomized clinical trials – have indicated that carnitine supplements improve outcomes in patients with cardiovascular disease"

Now this is a much better point.  If you'll read the article below

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-r-gaby-md/carnitine-heart-health_b_3100191.html

he brings up how acetyl and propinyl supplements help patients with various aspects of managing heart disease such as issues in the extremeties, angina and surviving a heart attack.  But these arguments really avoid a couple of important points:

--The original study said that arteriosclerosis would be accelerated in meat eaters.  I believe there is evidence for this, but meat eaters would simply say, "Arteriosclerosis is inevitable and not that big of a deal if managed properly." 

--Acetyl-l-carnitine and propinyl are really different animals.  The have little to do with the carnitine found in meat and don't affect lipids.  As far as I know, there is not link to these supplements and TMAO, although I am sure more data will be forthcoming.

Anyway, it is going to go back and forth for the next 10 years and it will be interesting to see where it all ends up...

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Re: Red Meat-Heart Disease Link Explained?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 10:43:49 pm »