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Study links red meat to heart disease

Study links red meat to heart disease
8th April 2013

A study in the United States has made the link between camitine - a chemical found in red meat and heart disease.

Published in the Nature Medicine journal, the research was conducted at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and looked at how red meat such as steak, mince and bacon is broken down in the stomach.

They found that camitine in the gut starts a chain of events which can increase cholesterol and the risk of heart problems. This is because it is broken down into gas which is converted in to a chemical called TMAO in the liver.

TMAO is linked to fatty deposits building up in the blood.

Here in the UK, government guidelines say that people should not consume more than 70g of processed or red meat each day – the equivalent of just two slices of bacon.

Dr Stanley Hazen, lead researcher at the Cleveland Clinic, said: "Carnitine metabolism suggests a new way to help explain why a diet rich in red meat promotes atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries)."

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