Letter to the editor: Heart Disease
Scary news for meat-eaters: Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic have found that people who eat meat produce more of a substance called TMAO, which is known to raise one’s risk for heart disease. Bacteria in the gut reportedly produce TMAO while metabolizing the chemicals found in red meat, eggs, and dairy-based foods. Some people were found to have a 10-fold increase in their TMAO levels after a month of eating red meat. Elevated levels of this chemical lead to a higher risk of heart disease and of dying young.
Fortunately, people stop making as much TMAO soon after they stop eating red meat and other animal-based foods. Studies have shown that vegans tend to have lower levels of TMAO and are less likely to die of heart disease than meat-eaters.
The researchers also found that eating red meat can impact the body’s kidney function and metabolism, and they urge people to get their nutrients from great-tasting vegan foods. For free vegan recipes and product suggestions, see www.PETA.org.