I thought it might be pertinent to share with you Melissa and Dallas Hartwig’s (from the Whole 9) opinions on the recent article published accusing red meat of killing. They shared this earlier today on Facebook and I felt it to be a very helpful summary of the research and their own interpretations.
“There’s a new “red meat will kill you” study going around, and it includes the usual distortions and extrapolations. Here’s our response:
The study discusses how, in rodents, certain types of gut bacteria can transform one specific chemical found in meat (l-carnitine) into a different (and potentially harmful) chemical, TMAO. The researchers (and moreso the journalists that sensationalize the study results) then jump to the conclusion that eating red meat will cause heart disease in humans because it contains l-carnitine (which is converted to TMAO by specific types of bacteria). A very important point here is this: the conversion of carnitine to TMAO is done primarily by gut bacteria that are commonly pathogenic (Gram-negative Enterobacteria like Salmonella, Shigella, Klebsiella, and Citrobacter). Or, in someone else’s words, “it’s the bacterial alchemy — not the l-carnitine alone — that poses the real threat.” (http://www.nature.com/news/red-meat-wrong-bacteria-bad-news-for-hearts-1.12746) In other words, the production of the harmful chemical is dependent on an unhealthy gut bacterial population. Well, shoot… an unhealthy gut microbiota can contribute to essentially all chronic disease, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it contributes to heart disease as well.
(On a related note, you can find “harmful” compounds in basically every food, including most vegetables, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat them.)
As always, beware the media’s sensationalization of study results, and of the Establishment’s ongoing war against that evil, evil enemy, Red Meat. “