General consumption of fish, poultry and eggs was not associated with increased cardiovascular risk
Chemicals produced in the digestive tract by gut microbes after eating red meat may help explain part of the higher risk of cardiovascular disease associated with red meat consumption, according to new research published in the American Heart Association’s peer-reviewed journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB).
In the United States and around the world, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death. While the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, increases with age, other risk factors are influenced by lifestyle. Lifestyle and behaviors that are known to improve cardiovascular health include eating healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables; regular physical activity; obtaining sufficient sleep; maintaining a healthy body weight; stopping smoking; and controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar.
“Most of the focus on red meat intake and health has been around dietary saturated fat and blood cholesterol levels,” said co-lead author of the study Meng Wang, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston. “Based on our findings, novel interventions may be helpful to target the interactions between red meat and the gut microbiome to help us find ways to reduce cardiovascular risk.”
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