Red Meat Consumption and Mortality: Is Carnitine the Culprit?
Coronary artery disease (CAD) and its consequence – that is – ischemic heart disease continues to be the most common cause of mortality worldwide with numbers increasing every decade. There are numerous well established risk factors for CAD including obesity, smoking, diabetes and hypertension. All these factors contribute to the disease pathogenesis either alone or in synergy via different, yet inter related mechanisms. Control of these risk factors either through life style modifications or through pharmacological interventions has been shown to decrease the incidence (primary prevention) or the complications (secondary prevention) of CAD in a number of controlled clinical trials.
These findings lead the investigators to search for alternate hypothesis and the results of this study were published last week by the Nature Medicine. In this study, investigators recruited a group of health volunteers who were strict vegetarians and supplemented them with carnitine, a supplement known for its “energizing” potential. Carnitine is found in large quantity in red meat steak, which is rich in protein and low in fat – a combination which should be theoretically beneficial for cardiovascular system.
The bacteriological content of the stool as well as the concentration of Trimethyl N-Oxide of volunteers consuming carnitine was noted to be exceptionally high compared to controls. These components were measured as surrogate markers of atherosclerosis. It was shown that the bacterial content of strict vegetarians was different from meat consumers leading to hypothesis that bacteria might contribute to the process by participating in oxidation reactions.
Join JPMS Medical Blogs Team as Editor or Contributor, email your cover letter and resume to [email protected]
We welcome Guest posts. Submit online via: http://blogs.jpmsonline.com/submit/
Disclaimer: JPMS Medical Blogs are published by the same publisher of Journal of Pakistan Medical Students (JPMS). This article does not reflect the policies of JPMS or its Staff or Editorial nor it intends to provide legal, financial or medical advice. Refer to Disclaimer and Policies section for more details.
Advertisement: Call for Papers for Journal of Pakistan Medical Students (www.jpmsonline.com): Submit Original Article, Review Article, Case Report, Letter to the Editor, News Article, Clinical Images, Perspectives or Elective Report to JPMS. We also publish Conference Proceedings and Conference Abstracts as Supplement. No paper submission or publication charges. Submit your articles online (click here) or send it as an Email to: [email protected]