Researchers analyzed 21 studies of more than 292,000 people for an average of 10 years. They discovered a link between consuming heme iron—found only in red meat—and a 57 percent increased risk of heart disease.
“Heme iron is absorbed at a much greater rate in comparison to non-heme iron [37 percent vs. 5 percent],” the researchers said in an Indiana University School of Public Health news release. “Once absorbed, it may contribute as a catalyst in the oxidation of [bad cholesterol], causing tissue-damaging inflammation.” This inflammation is a risk factor for heart disease.
Though the analysis didn’t establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship between red meat and heart disease, the findings suggest avoiding a red meat-heavy diet.
The consumption of non-heme iron, found in vegetables and iron supplements, was not associated with a higher heart disease risk.
Read more about the heart disease risk iron poses at BlackHealthMatters.Com.
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