Red Meat Increases Stroke Risk
Some people cherish the taste of a delicious red meat based meal so much that they feel they just can't survive without it. For others... not so much. Those people who belong to the first group should be interested in the findings of a recent study that found a positive correlation between high red meat intake and elevated stroke risk. In this study, researchers at the John Hopkins School of Medicine, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Wurzburg in Germany monitored the protein sources and stroke incidence rates of more than 10,0000 adults between the ages of 45 - 64 years recruited from the Atherosclerosis Risk Communities (ARIC) Study Cohort. The subjects were followed for 6 years. The result? A 47% increase in the risk of ischemic stroke, caused by obstruction in the blood vessels supplying the brain, was associated with habitual consumption of red meat.
More recent studies have continued to implicate red meat as a contributing factor in the development of stroke. A 2016 study that analyzed data extracted from 7 prospective cohort studies involving over 2 million subjects and 20,000 cases of stroke found out that people with a high intake of red meat also had higher chances of suffering from ischemic stroke than persons who rarely consumed or totally avoided meat.
Red meats are excellent sources of cholesterol and saturated fats, both of which have been linked with stroke and cardiovascular disease. But recent evidence reveals that cholesterol and saturated fats might not be the only culprit in red meat that promotes the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Carnitine, a compound abundant in red meat, may also facilitate the onset of stroke. Bacteria in the digestive tract convert carnitine to trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), a compound that promotes the formation of blood clots that can cause stroke and heart attack. Oxidized TMAO level in the blood is the factor that correlates more than any other with the high risk for clots that can kill via cardiovascular catastrophes.
The more meat a person consumes, the more TMAO and thus the higher their risk of having a stroke. Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated that the odds of developing ischemic stroke increases by 24% for every 100 grams of meat consumed per day. Removing meat from our diet can go a long way in helping to fend off the suffering caused by a stroke. Reduce your risk! Eat without meat.
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