Red meat could up heart disease risk
Researchers have found a link between heme iron, found only in meat,
and potentially deadly coronary heart disease....
full story, photos, comments:
Washington, April 24 (ANI): Researchers
have found a link between heme iron, found only in meat, and potentially deadly
coronary heart disease.
The study found that heme iron consumption increased the risk for coronary heart
disease by 57 percent, while no association was found between nonheme iron,
which is in plant and other non-meat sources, and coronary heart disease.
Along with first author
Jacob Hunnicutt, a graduate student in the school's Department of
Epidemiology and Biostatistics, the study's co-authors are
Pengcheng Xun , faculty members in the department.
Hunnicutt said the link between iron intake, body iron stores and coronary
heart disease has been debated for decades by researchers, with
epidemiological studies providing inconsistent findings.
The new IU research, a meta-analysis, examined 21 previously published studies
and data involving 292,454 participants during an average 10.2 years of
The body treats the two kinds of iron differently. It can better control
absorption of iron from vegetable sources, including iron supplements, but not
so with iron from meat sources.
"The observed positive association between heme iron and risk of CHD may be
explained by the high bioavailability of heme iron and its role as the primary
source of iron in iron-replete participants," the researchers wrote. "Heme iron
is absorbed at a much greater rate in comparison to non
heme iron (37 percent vs. 5 percent). Once absorbed, it may contribute as a
catalyst in the oxidation of LDLs, causing tissue-damaging inflammation, which
is a potential risk factor for CHD."