Allergen in red meat causes heart disease: Study

An allergen found in red meat can cause the buildup of plaque in the arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart disease, a study has found.
While high saturated fat levels in red meat have long been known to contribute to heart disease for people in general, the findings – published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology (ATVB) – suggests that a subgroup of the population may be at heightened risk due to a food allergen.
“This novel finding from a small group of subjects from Virginia raises the intriguing possibility that allergy to red meat may be an under recognised factor in heart disease,” said Coleen McNamara, a professor at the University of Virginia in the US.
“These preliminary findings underscore the need for further clinical studies in larger populations from diverse geographic regions and additional laboratory work,” said McNamara.
The number of people with red meat allergies in the US is unclear, but researchers estimate that it may be one per cent of the population in some areas.
The number of people who develop blood antibodies to the red meat allergen without having full-blown symptoms is much higher – as much as 20 per cent of the population in some areas, researchers said. (PTI)