Latest “Red Meat Study” Doubly Flawed

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red meatNo, meat is not unsafe—nor is L-carnitine.

A recent study published in the journal Nature Medicine associates the amino acid L-carnitine, found in red meat, supplements, and sports supplements, with the risk of heart disease. Here are some examples of what the media said about it: The Daily Mail (UK): “Red meat nutrient used in weight-loss and muscle-building supplements could cause heart disease”! The Dallas News: “Put down that steak! (and energy drinks, too); the carnitine in these foods may increase risk of cardiovascular disease”!

Here is the gist of the study:

  • a diet high in L-carnitine promotes the growth of certain bacteria that metabolize the amino acid;
  • during that metabolization, an organic compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) is produced in the blood; and
  • this compound increases risk of heart disease.

The study further states that vegetarians and vegans have different gut bacteria, which do not produce a burst of TMAO after consuming L-carnitine.

There is a lot to find fault with in this study.

First, there’s the question of the study participants. Most of the study was done on mice, though there was a human component—a tiny sample of only six people, five meat-eaters and one vegan. That’s right, their conclusion that vegetarians and vegans have different gut bacteria that don’t produce a burst of TMAO after consuming L-carnitine was based on just one individual.

We also don’t know how healthy the five meat-eaters were in this study. The study found that the red meat eaters did not produce TMAO after a course of antibiotics. This suggests that these subjects’ immune systems were already damaged—not that all meat eaters’ are. At the same time, it is still unclear whether TMAO production is caused by eating red meat at all (this was just an assumption), and whether raised TMAO levels actually cause heart disease.

Second, the idea that L-carnitine causes heart disease conflicts with other, better evidence. A large and recent meta-analysis, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, suggests that L-carnitine is helpful for heart disease, not a cause. This meta-analysis specifically tested L-carnitine on hard outcomes in humans who had already experienced acute myocardial infarction, and found that L-carnitine was associated with significant reduction in death from all causes and a highly significant reduction in ventricular arrhythmias and anginal attacks following a heart attack, compared with placebo or control. In other words, L-carnitine, far from being harmful to the heart, actually heals it!

None of the media reports we saw bothered to mention any of the positive effects of L-carnitine—even those mentioned in the study itself. Its essential function is to transport fatty acids into our mitochondria, which may be why it is so beneficial to heart patients. It also helps with kidney disease and male infertility, reduces fat mass, increases muscle mass, and reduces fatigue. In elderly patients, it also helps energy metabolism and improves neurotransmitter function in the brain.

And if L-carnitine is actually good for us, what about meat? That’s still controversial. But other studies don’t support the conclusion that it harms us. An extremely large meta-analysis published by Circulation (over 1.2 million participants) found that fresh and unprocessed red meat consumption was not associated with increased heart disease risk, stroke, or diabetes.

In addition, this one, much-hyped study makes no differentiation between different types or sources of meat. As we have discussed frequently in the past, industrialized factory farm meat is very different from organic, local, grass-fed meat in its nutrient composition. Meat from CAFOs—that is, confined animal feeding operations—contains twenty times the amount of omega-6 fatty acids (which are associated with inflammation, arthritis, and cancer) than healthier omega-3 fatty acids, have much more fat marbling, and may be full of antibiotics.

Grass-fed beef has nearly seven times more omega-3s than omega-6s, so eaten in moderation, it offers healthier levels of essential fats. Moreover, grass-fed beef is lower in total fat, and higher in vitamin E complex, beta-carotene, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and CLA—and these differences may have a tremendous impact on both the types of bacteria in the gut and the levels of TMAO produced. But of course, we won’t know about that, because this was never even thought about in the study.

What none of these overhyped media reports—not to mention the study itself— take into account is the reality of bioindividuality. No one diet, and no one selection of supplements, should be advocated for everyone. Only a balanced diet tailored to each individual body’s personal needs will ensure one’s health in the long run.

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  • Shasha

    Hi, I take carnitine/acetylcarnitine….I don’t feel they are hurting me.They help fatty acids get into the mitochondria to use as fuel. I only eat meat ~2X a year. Maybe pink slime in meat is causing the problem…

  • Allison

    I eat pastured beef after being a vegan for several years. I’m much healthier now because the CLA fat has helped with hormone production. I have MS and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I stopped reading health “news” in the newspaper a long time ago! I wish everyone would!

  • Laura Brainin-Rodriguez

    Thank you for shedding light and real facts to combat the media induced hysteria against red meat and carnitine. It sure puts things in perspective when you realize that this “research” is based on six people and that there was only one vegetarian they are basing their conclusions on.

    Thanks as well for pointing out that one study does not deny a whole body of evidence collected over many years, such as the benefits of L-carnitine. I also appreciate the importance of how animals are fed in terms of their body composition and the effect on the bodies of those who in turn eat them.

    You have done us a real service and I will share this widely.

  • Darold Smith

    I was suspicious of this study. My wife and I both supplement with a form of L-Carnitine provided by LEF.org, (http://www.lef.org/Vitamins-Supplements/Item00916/Optimized-Carnitine-with-Glycocarn.html?source=search&key=Optimized%20LCarnitine) for many years for the reasons stated on the web page. We are both in our mid-70s, have normal blood pressure, and, among other things generally follow a “Mediterranean Diet”. The only prescriptions are for hormone replacement therapy using bio-identical hormones. Our C-reactive protein levels are very low (low inflammation). We also have supplement with vitamin D3 (minimum of 5,000 IUs per day) to keep our blood level in above the recommended and neither of us have been sick in years.

    It still happens occasionally that we get asked if we are “seniors” at restaurants, etc.

    My general experience with media reporting on health issues is they are very superficial and the sources quoted are largely ignorant on the topic while the interviewers don’t do unbiased background research on the topics. They also fail to challenge questionable reports. Most of the public takes anything stated by a MD (or someone dressed to look like one) as sacrosanct and follows the “advice” without asking questions.

    I suppose it is no wonder because of the saturation of ads for OTC remedies and big pharma prescription drugs – to challenge them would likely reduce media advertising income. So much for the requirement by the FCC for broadcasters provide “public service”. For the large part, it is public “disservice”

    I’m not just a “believer” in nutrition for those that may think I am just another “health nut” I am a scientist with degrees in physics, electrical engineer, registered professional engineer, and an internationally recognized Certified Systems Engineering Professional and know how to do research and analysis and cost benefit analysis.

  • Dr R Muccillo

    This study was probably based on some vegetarian group who are biased and think we should be vegetarians—People are not vegetarians and they are not carnivores and they were not meant to be–these people need to study anatomy and physiology (structure and function) Humans are omnivores and are made to eat meat and vegetables–look at the teeth and the facial muscles—vegetarian animals have large masseters and grinding teeth (molars that are used in grinding) and chewing. Gorillas are an example. Carnivores have sharp incisors and no real grinders, like tigers cats and dogs. Omnivores have a combo of incisors and premolars and bicuspids and molars so they can eat meat and veggies.. Now look at the intestines–vegetarian species have much longer alimentary canals because it takes longer to digest vegetables and you need different dentition to break up plants whereas meat does not need to be chewed–just bitten off and swallowed—it is digested by the HCL in the stomach. Before I became a Doctor–I was a physical anthropologist. You really need to see who is doing these studies and get their references before you even bother to publish them!

  • Emily Dale

    I wholeheartedly agree with the words in the last paragraph. I have used an Integrative physician who relies on multiple tests on blood and urine chemistry, bone studies and other related testing to determine what my body was either deficient in or had an excess thereof, and then recommended supplements that would balance it. I am 87 and going strong, as a result.

  • Bill Roseberry

    Wow! Thank you for a little clarity! That was quite a revelation about the “size” of the study and it’s make up. What a joke! You indicate the study was in England, or at least published in a British “health-related” publication. I’m used to seeing the level of genius reflected in this study being displayed by our flat-earth folks over here in the US. I didn’t think they had Republicans over there….

    • Bill Roseberry

      What? Did this study get underwritten by that brain trust at Fox Wrestling Network?

  • Terri Fann

    Given that there are 9 billion slaughtered animals a year in the US alone, organic, free range consumption of beef for ALL is unsustainable. That’s the reason for CAFO (concentrated feeding operations) exist. And why more than half of the water used for all purposes in the US goes to livestock production not to mention the methane, carbon dioxide pollution. But back to organic, free range beef. The U.S. alone has 94.5 million beef cattle (not even counting dairy cows). And only 3% is free range. It’s estimated (by a Louisville farmer who raises free-range cattle) it takes 2.5 to 35 acres of pasture, depending on the quality of the pasture, to raise a grass-fed cow. Using the more conservative figure of 2.5 acres of pasture, this means we need approximately 250 million acres to create grazing pastures for every cow in the U.S.

  • Elaine Pinckard

    I don’t believe you. You guys should know that red meat is extremely bad for people. Shame on you for promoting people eat it.
    So are you in the Meat Producer’s back pocket? Disgusting.

  • M. A. Basso

    Thank you so much for this more intelligent discussion. I heard about the study on Science Friday a public radio program. I really questioned their findings and I found that the person intereviewing the scientist doctor did not ask very good questions. Just leading the listeners with what they wanted us to believe. This seems to be happening a lot more on public radio programs. This horrible interuptation of science. One sided perspective with an obvious agenda behind it.

  • Eddie

    The writer of this article is obviously another meat addict that is just interested in protecting his or her psychological addiction to meat as a food source. Humans did not evolve from meat eaters, humans aren’t built for hunting, our digestive system isn’t built for digesting meat, and 1 third of all males over 60 are going to have colon cancer in America. And the reason why is because Americans have this belief that has been pounded into them from the livestock industry that meat is the right food for people. The meat industry is destroying people’s health, and the health of the world. Humans have lived for thousands of years on plant based diets, and now that we have the refrigerator, we have decided that “Meat” has to be the center of every meal. How many other drugs can cure heart disease, diabetes, adn lots of other diseases? None, only a plant based diet can.

    • http://n/a BJ Davis

      Eddie,
      God gave Adam the perfect food source in the Garden of Eden in Gen 1:29. It was all plant based. Adam lived for 630 yrs. After the Israelites begged God to eat meat, the life span dwindled down to 130 yrs. http://www.hallelujahacres.com is dedicated to a plant based diet; many testimonias on people who have been cured of all kinds of diseases, i.e. cancer, diabetes, etc. T.Colin Campbell, PhD, Chemist worked for one of the big pharma companys as a researcher and wrote a book on how meat causes cancer. It’s called the China Study written in a very scientific format so not for every reader. There are lots of websites out there on plant based diets especially raw plant based diets and many cured people who have eliminated meat and dairy, poultry, fish, junk food, and highly processed food of any kind. Raw plant based food comes with its own digestive enzymes and is immediately bioavailable to the human body. Chlorophyl – the green stuff in veggies – is only one molecule different from human blood. Something to think about.

  • Kristine

    Thanks for clearing this issue up. I had read the article you are refering to and this answered some of the questions that came to mind. As usual, great info. Thanks again!!

  • Joy Bergstromj

    I don’t and won’t eat it I’m a vegataion, It is a healty way to go just have to watch what you eat the Goverment is trying to get evey one on matter which way you go.

  • Dona

    I was raised on beef, potatoes and beans. My whole family has been raised the same and most have lived into their 90’s a few into their 100’s so I would have a hard time believing that red meat was bad for anyone. The testing they do is inadequate at best.

  • http://naturalalliance Doug

    Interesting, but I suppose there will be more studies.

  • Char13

    The kind of reporting done on this test is what makes me so mad. Why can they not at least look at both sides and give the truthful details? Hopefully those that are in the know as far as grass fed beef will carry their knowledge to others. Please forward this information to friends and family to help educate the public with the truth. We need to continue fighting for our natural supplements and means of staying healthy. Our health will be dependent on what we do from now on.

  • http://N/A Paul R Calnan Sr

    Red meat is an inflammatory to the human body, linked to prostate cancer as well as other diseases.

  • abinico warez

    I tried being vegan years ago and ended up with muscle tremors – and this happened while taking vegan needed supplements. I went back to eating meat – my first meal was calf’s liver; fried to perfection with a nice raw center. Even before I finished the meal my tremors were gone – it was simply amazing. I have never thought about being vegan again and consider that diet to be a choice made for some non-descript values – certainly not for health.

  • Mary Smith

    Try telling a cow or horse or goat that Red Meat is safe….safe for who

  • Anna Fiona

    I am curious if the person who wrote this article is a biochemist.

  • Michael Kirkby

    Was the meat factory farm produced or was it free range; grass fed? Yes there is a difference.

  • http://www.fatmousediet.com Douglas McKee

    The study, if you would read it, points out that the 1875 people referred from the Cleveland heart clinic ALREADY had heart disease. That means they already had the Firmicutes prevalence that caused their high TMAO. It is the bacteria that cause the TMAO increase.
    Once the Firmicutes prevalence is lowered, the carnitine would be metabolized differently.
    What the Cleveland clinic should have concluded is that we should avoid fructose, the cause of the increase of Firmicutes and reduction of Bacteroidetes.

    Thanks,
    Doug McKee

  • http://www.maxcelint.com Michael W. Dixon

    What about the benefits of taking acetyl L-carnitine in supplement form? Supposed to be good for brain function. Perhaps the “study” authors should take some, as well as those in the media who hype the so-called study. – Michael W. Dixon is an Orthomolecular Biochemistry Researcher and the founder of The Research Lab and Maxcelint Laboratories Inc. (www.maxcelint.com).

  • Paul

    You said that grass fed beef has 7x the omega 3 f.a. than omega 3. Can you please provide a citation for this information? There is almost nothing in the literature regarding improved nutritional profile of organic meats vs conventional… Thanks

    • BARRY

      Grass-fed beef also has CLA, conjugated linolenic acid, known to reduce belly fat, LDL cholesterol, and aid immune response. Try PubMed wholistic, or Medscape to search for benefits of grass-fed beef.

  • http://karenthomasART.com Karen Thomas

    Thank you for this article! I read about the study in the NY Times and it appeared as though organic meat was not involved. And yes, everyone is not bio-identical.

  • Gertrude Lamb

    RE bioindividuality–This is why I tell my grown children to get a referral to a nutritionist–and to get a holistic MD or ND.
    PS — Acetyl-l-carnetine is the bioactive, converted form; and is also the cofactor for alpha-lipoic acid (the alpha form is the bioactive, converted form). Alpha-lipoic acid is what helps produce ATP–cellular fuel. The two together helped get me out of a wheelchair and on my feet again, despite heart attack damage and crippling osteoarthritis.
    I just wonder who bribed — oops, “funded” — this silly six-man study? And why Nature Medicine journal published it? Normally this flawed a study would not pass muster–unless there were rats in the woodpile, pushing for it.
    When you smell a rat–it’s usually a rat. Find the WHY and you find the rat.

    • Patricia Gula, USPHS, ret

      If your state licenses natropaths, think about these professionals as part of the team…may be more educated re supplements than nutritionists who are trying to be the one and only source…they each have something to contribute.

  • John R Stockhausen

    RE: A.N.H, I have been looking for (1) In Depth Dictionary on either Biology or Physiology for avery long time. I’ve also been looking for an in depth Dictionary on Chemicals. Just so you know exactly what I would use it for is (Food & Chemicals & how it affects the Human body in detail).
    Is there any possibility that you could send me an Email of a couple of Names of Dictionaries
    that pertain to what I’m looking for???
    This would really be appreciated more than you know. Thanks so much for all of your Emails.
    Please keep up the good work.
    Sincerely Yours, John R Stockhausen

    • http://n/a BJ Davis

      John,
      Years ago a doctor named Bernard Jensen, DC, PhD, Clinical Nutritionists, Iridoligist, etc, well traveled with many books published; wrote a book on the Chemistry of Man which is still available at http://www.bernardjensen.com. This was a huge collaborative undertaking at the time it was witten and cost over a million dollars in research. I purchased one of the orginal printings which I cherish. They may still have Dr Jensen’s charts which I have all on my refrigerator showing what vitamins, minerals and foods support what organs and systems of the human body. His daughter-in-law, Helen Tart-Jensen, PhD has been continuing his work both in alternative therapy consultations and Iridology training. Hope this helps.

  • Jim Sylvester, DMD

    I personal complaint against red meat is 1) the cruel way animals have to be slaughtered and 2) the hormones and antibiotics that are given them and that we then consume to help wreak havoc with our immune systems and hormonal systems. I only eat range fed lamb meat. Period. And then…about once a weak. I am very healthy, 65 years old and very physically fit. Eat life, not dead animal tissue.

  • BARRY

    The usual agenda of this study, and many before it, is to dissuade the population from using safe and effective alternatives to drugs and surgery…thus driving up medical profits. The many poorly crafted studies and articles like this one, against achieving real health are published in the media happy to receive the millions of dollars profit from big pharma advertisements.

  • Karen

    Humans have survived on red meat for ten’s of thousands of years….but it wasn’t beef. And it didn’t have antibiotics and hormones fed to it, nor was it stressed our by living in cramped space. Nor did it come prepackaged in plastic! Come on people….this is not so difficult to figure out. I eat grass fed beef that is allowed to roam free while itnisnalive. I eat a lot less of it than most people do of the crappy beef. It is sweeter, leaner and I am far more satisfied with less of it than the..crappy stuff.
    This country needs to clean up it’s food sources. Fire the big Ag by not buying their toxic products. Learn what is healthy and stay with it. Eat only whole organic foods, meats, dairy and poultry that are chemical free! Just do it.

  • http://www.petersonfamilychiro.net/ Les

    The actual result of this study was observation of TMAO levels as a result of a meat meal. The sensationalists in the media, rather than report something they might understand…no, strike that, I’m not sure they understand much of what they report.
    The first question to ask, as was suggested above, do TMAO levels have a predictable effect on the endothelium that results in increased levels of atherosclerosis?
    Another question would be, how do these test subjects compare with any “average” American in terms of blood work and physical exam?
    How do they compare with not average, but with healthy Americans?
    What is their AA/N3 like?
    If we had 1000 people in the study, tested them for many risk factors and markers of endothelial dysfunction(1), and then followed them for a decade, we might have a reasonable bit of data.
    (1) serum levels of Homocysteine, fibrinogen, AA/N3, Fractionated cholesterol, Nitric Oxide, C-reactive Protein, glucose, insulin, testosterone, estrogen, Vitamin D3, Vitamin K, and high blood pressure.

    • http://www.healthy-lifestyle-trainer.com Mike Luque

      Excellent! Yay for science!

  • Darryl

    “But of course, we won’t know about that, because this was never even thought about in the study.” With the studies already compiled on this topic, I suspect it was thought of and this study was thrown out there to try to dissaude those not in the know, from getting away from the “medical” profession. We pay their bills! and frills! Must not loose us..

  • http://www.foodandhealthsecrets.com Marta Tereshchenko

    I agree that talking just about meat’s benefits or harm would be completely misleading, wrong, and unscientific. Meats are different, from different animals, fed either to produce a health meats (not accessible at any supermarket), or absolutely unhealthy meats from CAFO.

    There is also grass-fed meat, as opposed to grain-fed, for example, soy-fed meat, and even more the GMO-soy-fed meat, or bT-corn polluted-with-Roundup meat. The same concerns relate to the industrial production of poultry, and the farmed fish fed with the GMO soy, or milled bones of dead cow’s, fed with antibiotics and GMO soy through their life time.

    An advice on eating a lot of fresh raw green vegetables as a source of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc., would also not help if all that produce was grown using herbicides, pesticides, or toxic Roundup…

    The studies on meat-eating-or-avoiding benefits are also wouldn’t produce any valuable results if (I agree) the metabolic type of the studied individuals are not considered because the digesting-meats capabilities of many African ethnics, for example, or Japanese are weaker compare to the individuals with the high metabolic strength.

    I’ve never learned of any long-term high-population studies considering these very important peculiarities — so no value in the results of such studies.

  • Martin Wolff

    Excellent article! Here’s Life Extension’s commentary:

    Koeth 2013 Response

    “Intestinal microbiota metabolism of L-carnitine a nutrient in red meat, promotes atherosclerosis”

    Carnitine Reduces Death Rates

    The heart muscle uses fat as its primary energy source. Carnitine is a fat-transporting compound that is absolutely essential for normal heart function.1 Over time, the decline of carnitine plays a role in the weakening of the heart’s muscles.2

    People with heart muscle damage from heart attacks or heart failure have especially low carnitine levels.3-5 Fortunately, carnitine supplementation has proven to be remarkably effective in fighting and even reversing the heart-weakening effects from that drop in carnitine levels.2

    In one study, 160 male and female heart attack survivors between 39 and 86 years old received either 4 grams/day of L-carnitine or a placebo for 12 months.6 The patients taking L-carnitine experienced significantly favorable decreases in heart rate and blood pressure; they also had improved blood lipid profiles. Most importantly, those supplementing with carnitine had a dramatically reduced death rate compared to those not taking carnitine. Patients taking carnitine had a death rate of just 1.2% in the entire year, while 12.5% of control patients died, with the majority of deaths attributed to repeat heart attacks.6

    L-carnitine supplementation also prevents the progression of heart muscle damage in people with congestive heart failure and improves exercise tolerance in people who develop chest pain (angina) with exertion.3 In one study, 55% of patients experienced improvement in their standard heart failure classification.3

    People with angina, an early sign of heart muscle threatened by ischemia (low blood flow), benefited from carnitine supplements. A natural derivative of L-carnitine, propionyl-L-carnitine, at a dose of 500 mg 3 times daily, increased the mean time that patients could exercise without EKG signs of ischemia by an impressive 450%.16 That result indicated improved blood flow to heart muscle cells following ischemia, an effect amply demonstrated in animal studies.7,8

    Carnitine also increases concentrations of nitric oxide that help endothelial cells relax and increase blood flow, which can help lower blood pressure.9-11 Three weeks of supplementation with 2 grams of L-carnitine improved blood flow by 17% during the critical after-meal period in a group of people fed a high-fat meal; placebo…

  • Elaine Brown

    Grass-fed beef, yes, but humanely slaughtered? The manner of slaughter is equally important. And some of us cannot bear to think we are eating a being that had to be killed in order for us to munch that juicy steak. Also, a consideration. There are no real answers whether the study is good or not.

  • JBL

    To each his own but personally I choose not to contribute to the killing of innocent animals. I was not raised this way but through education and a series of health problems I chose to live as a vegetarian. All of the health issues gradually diminished.

  • Linda Nack

    How can we know if the meat we buy is grass fed or organic? Lately I’ve felt like everyone is jumping on board with mis-labeling. Do stores lie about these things? Are we getting what we want or not?

    • Jan

      Linda–The key is “grass finished” and you probably have to ask. Nearly all beef is raised on pasture but much of that is sold to the feedlots…you know the rest. I’m sure that Big Ag is into deceiving people. The sad but true situation is you have to know where the meat comes from. An example in eggs/poultry: “cage free” is not the same as “free range”. Most people don’t know the difference and they get away with it.

    • Elbice

      Buy from a local farm and get to know them. That is the safest and best alternative. Vegetarians and vegans are ok if that is what works for you for either moral or health issues. Most people do better with a more paleo based diet. It is much better at keeping blood sugar issues under control which is what sets you up for a host of health problems. I buy both meat and vegetables from a local organic farm. I have gotten to know them and their entire operation is available to see when you visit so you know what you are getting.

    • http://alumni.columbia.edu Margaret

      Most of us here in the city (NY) can’t buy from a truly local farm, especially one that we can visit, but we do have the Greenmarkets–thank God! I find grass fed and finished beef and other meats at these, as well as free range eggs and other organic foods. These farmers are local and regional, so they support regional agriculture and smaller non big-Ag farming, while decreasing the need for long-distance transportation of produce. Not all of it is organic, since that’s difficult for small operations, but most of the smaller, family farms that participate in the GMarkets use IPM (integrated pest management), which minimizes chemical use, and avoid GMO products. They care about the health of the soil, water and air they and their family lives on. If anyone living in New York City doesn’t know about the NYC Greenmarkets or where they are, go to http://www.GrowNYC.org; it’s a large, well organized website with more info than you can think of. You can also call 212-788-7476; they’ve had occasional problems with their phone lines ever since Hurricane Sandy but I was able to reach them. There’s also Whole Foods Markets, which I like for meat and especially fish. Their meat is labeled with one of 5 grades of care; some of the fish is produced in farms in Norway, where they operate in the ocean and restrict the density of the fish; Whole Foods says it inspects these farms to ensure the standards are met. Whole Foods is expensive but (hard to believe but true) not as expensive as some conventional food markets. Also, I eat less meat than I used to, so the somewhat higher prices are offset by lower volume. Happy shopping!

    • TRICIA

      Answer to the question “How do you know if the meat we buy is grass fed or organic?” Usually farmers who grassfeed their cows include the words ‘grass fed’ on the lable. It is more likely found in healthfood stores, although I have seen it in a popular supermarket here in CA, one in particular Laura’s Lean Green Beef, she even had a pamphlet that told the story of her parents farm and more. Sometimes the butcher will know if it is grass or grain fed, but I would rather see it on the label.

  • Nickolas

    Meat still contains pollution like mercury, pcb’s and radiation. These I hope your not defending as healthy.

  • http://24monthmiracle.com Cyn

    Thanks for posting this. I was worried there at first but saw where you were going and you are so right, organic grass fed beef is so much better and you can’t put labels and say one diet is better than another, however I do believe there are certain foods that everyone should eliminate and that would be all the junk food, fast food, chemical foods, artificial foods, sugar, sodas, artificial sweeteners, etc.

    I did a study on a specific product that I sell called “Focus Up”, and Acetyl L- Carnitine is one of the ingredients ( I knew I had heard that ingredient name before). Correct me if I’m wrong but are there not different types of this L- Carnitine, some better, some worse?

  • http://www.kostkunskap.bjogg.se Björn Hammarskjöld

    Good comment.
    Don’t forget that the WCRF defines hamburgers as “red meat”. This includes the hamburger bun in the “red meat” category.
    So there is more than the double amount of carbohydrates than protein and fat in a normal hamburger.
    We all know that animal protein and animal fat are nontoxic as we consist of at least 10 kg animal protein and at least 10 and up to 400 kg of animal fat.
    But carbohydrates are toxic, more than 25 g glucose in the blood of a 70 kg person is lethal, you die in acute glucose intoxication.

  • Mary Jo Boya

    Thank you for getting this information together and posting it. I wonder if it will get the same attention as the other media reports. Also, what could be the motivation for a study like this? Is it vegans of the world uniting?

    • Bruce Stewart

      Don’ forget the animal rights people but the main force behind this I would say is the greenhouse gas people. Cows make greenhouse gas so we must do away with them and eat the grass ourselves and don’t forget your Beano!

  • http://n/a Rick

    Gee….lets us face FACT….everything in moderation!
    If you eat 40 pounds of meat a day…guess what, it will hurt you and if you eat 40 pounds of veggies a day…guess what it will hurt you!

    Here is what husrts you….the crap put into food, or chemicals to create more! One thing is sure, DNA changed food to produce more or bigger lose the good nutruents in it! Steroids and antibiotics in any meat hurts you.

    Let’s put the problem where it lays!!!

  • Susanna Cummings

    I think the government is pushing the vegan thing because the huge corporations who control most of the food can make more money processing soy into pretend food. Science is not what they are after. Fooling the public is the game plan.

    • Debrah

      The government isn’t pushing the vegan thing so much as unaffiliated scientists are suggesting that the effect of meat production on the environment is less sustainable than a plant centered diet. If anything, the government is answering to Big Ag and their lobbiests to promote meat, dairy and eggs and of course the soy that is needed to feed those animals. A perfect example is the new Monsanto protect bill. How much of the corn and soy produced in the US goes to feeding animals for you to eat. And Monsanto supplies the seed. The government is NOT pushing the vegan thing.

    • http://www.healthy-lifestyle-trainer.com Mike Luque

      I can’t agree with your assessment. Do you think the processed factory farm industry doesn’t have a huge gigantic wallet that they use to influence government policy? Yup they do. They’re the ones pushing for Ag-Gag laws in many states, trying to make it a crime to expose animal abuses in factory farms.

      Also, according to the World Wildlife Federation, 85% of all soy bean production is used for animal feed, especially pigs and poultry.

      When I first saw the study they discuss here, I found it to be a bit dubious and I’m glad the flaws in it are being exposed, but those of us who care about clean eating and a healthy environment should keep on topic and on target.

    • Donna

      Let us not forget that soy now is GMO infused. If vegans eating more gmo soy , will that harm their health? Looking for gmo free foods is the way to go. Is there such a thing as gmo free soy?

      • Dr ron oconnor

        yes you can get non GMO soy.

    • DArcher

      Since when is “the government pushing the vegan thing”? Secondly, your “huge corporations” would see a massive decrease in sales and profitability if everyone adopted a vegan diet because of the ratio of soy/corn/wheat input to beef/pork/chicken output. Got that? Here it is again: meat production absorbs most of the soy production in order to inefficiently turn it into beef, pork or chicken.

      If people ate the soy and corn directly, instead of the meat that it’s turned into, the need for soy and corn would be reduced to a fraction of what it is now.

  • Russell Se

    Thousands upon thousands of studies shows eating meat is bad for ones health, the environment and of course the animals. It really is not a topic of controversy anymore or maybe’s. Meat is bad for one period.
    One can only conclude that this article was sponsored by the meat industry.

    • S.Rush

      I think you misread the article’s meaning.

    • Otto

      Do your reseach! Who made those studies you claim prove that ” eating meat is bad for ones health…”I bet you there was some conflict of interest involved. Heck, even the ‘organic’ and vegetarian’ industry has some tricks up their sleaves with smoke and mirrors type propaganda to convince people to use and ‘buy’ only their products.
      Growing grains is more harmful to the environment and the land then growing grazing animals!!! I was also convinced as you are that meat is bad for us and the land untill I did my own honest research! I was wrong but I spent time studying the issues and learned a lot. I converted from vegetarianism to a balanced diet and am the better for it.There is much evidence to corroborate this also. People cannot stay healthy without animal fats and proteins for long.
      Eat meat from grass fed animals!!! OMEGA 6 oils present in grains which then are fed to animals create an imbalance in our bodies which can and eventually will cause disease!! Look it up here: http://www.texasgrassfedbeef.com/focusing_on_nutrition.htm

      Mr Slanker is the owner who cares enough for people to put up info, which he studied, on his website to educate them! Sure he has vested interest in doing so, and so what? He is smart and shows he cares about people’s health at the same time. Kudos to him. Buy locally if possible of course to cut down on wastefull transportation!!!!!!

  • booklet

    I hate it when people are forcing some people to be a vegetarian. Can you force a lion to be a vegetarian? There are some people out there that need meat to stay alive. I read some people who was dying from vegetarian brought back to life when eating meat. Not everybody are created equal. I agree with the author last statements ,” What none of these overhyped media reports—not to mention the study itself— take into account is the reality of bioindividuality. No one diet, and no one selection of supplements, should be advocated for everyone. Only a balanced diet tailored to each individual body’s personal needs will ensure one’s health in the long run.”

    Original man was a vegetarian from the beginning but somehow our bodies got corrupt. God allow us to eat meat. I suggest people read Leviticus 11 in the Bible what meat is allow to eat. It known as a Liviticus diet and I think also known as a kosher diet.

    My amateur opinion.

    • Dr. BC

      Lions are not primates. We are primates. All other primates are vegetarian other than us. A gorilla is strong and it is a vegetarian.

  • Laszlo G Meszaros

    Nature is loosing it.. It used to be a reputable journal. However, you can lately find a lot of junk among Nature publications. Not talking about the quality of the peers they ask to judge your paper.

  • Robbie

    even plants scream when you cut the stalk… man kills all in the fight for food.. ditch all the BS and we would all be fine with our food. but the fight comes from the likes of Monsanto.. fake food, additives, false testing.. yep.. i just think the government is trying to kill us all.. go organic, grow your own heirloom plants and stay away from using anything man made, including those ‘vitamins’ in a bottle.. (all those do is rob from your body’s stores as it doesn’t know what to do with man made vitamins, so takes from your body’s stores to try to make it into a usable vitamin, without success as it’s man made! so all you do is rob your body’s stores!). i find organic farms and arrange to buy 1/2 cow, pig and organic free range chickens.. then i don’t have to depend on what is on store shelves lurking about to do my body harm… hard to trust anyone these days… and forget about eating out.. who knows what tricks they did to sell their fake food.. nope.. stay home and eat what you grow.. and don’t tell me you live in a city and can’t grow.. they have these things called containers that can grow plenty on a patio or small deck.. how important is your body to you? there are always options.. and a whole lot more…. and yes, i eat all the fat.. as long as it’s organic. you need fat. i can hear the nay-sayers now!

    • Dr ron oconnor

      there are sound physiological and environmental reasons for veg diet. Cows alone produce more methan by a lare margin, wish I could remember how much, than all the internal combustion engines combined. Large amounts of water are needed for chickens, cattle, their waste products end up mostly in our water system. Here in Milwaukee a cryptospoidium outbreak about 15 yrs ago killed dozens of people, sicked hundreds. The source? Blood and bacteria from the local slaughter house that contaminated the entire water system of the city and suburbs. They had to close the water treatment plaant to clean it and installed a state of the art ozone system. Of course the animal industry also uses large amount of plant foods to raise the animals. The whole scene is not sustable. As to our anatomy and physiolgy, we don’t have the dentition, stomach acids, pancreatic enzymes, liver and kidneys, intestional tract of a meat eater. Carnivores have huge efficient livers, kidneys to detox and a gut that has strong digestion and is much shorter than ours to get the meat waste out fast. Our gut is 3-4 times longer than theirs. Meat has become a custom, desire, craving, etc. And to me, the most important conviently lesf out point is that these animals are slef concious, sentient beings that experience fear and pain. Even an earth worm squirms when being prierced by a hook. No one has the physiological need to eat meat. Vegetarians have had problems because they continued on the often inadequate diet they had been on but they just drop the meat. A healthy diet obviously needs clean, pure food in variety, a simple point lost on most people.

      • http://www.bon-sante.blogspot.it Bonnie Camo MD

        Not everyone can be a vegan, even if they want to. It’s not a matter of will-power. It depends on your biochemical make-up. The brain requires long-chain omega-3 fatty acids like DHA which only occur in animal products (and a few sea weeds). Some people, especially those with type O blood (half of the population), are unable to convert the short-chain omega-3 found in plants into DHA, as well as EPA, needed by the heart. Many well-meaning people try to be vegetarian or vegan, only to find that they become sick, weak and have trouble thinking. Other people, especially blood type A and AB (40% of the pop) thrive on a vegetarian diet. There is no vitamin D in a vegan diet – they could get it by spending a lot of time naked in the sun! Also no vitamin B12, needed to prevent nerve degeneration and anemia. There are no primitive people who lived on a totally vegetarian diet, according to the research of Dr Weston Price, a dentist who traveled the world in the 1930’s, documenting the diet and health of people on their native diets. He found that people still eating their native diet, which always included some animal products, were very healthy and had perfect teeth, while the same people, after being contacted by Europeans, and eating the white man’s white food: white bread, sugar, rice, became sick, stunted and had rapid tooth decay. (see Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.) It is certainly true that the wild game eaten by Paleolithic hunters and Native Americans, accompanied by a lot of exercise catching it, had nothing in common with today’s high fat supermarket meat, laden with pesticides, synthetic hormones, and fed on genetically modified grain. Cows shouldn’t be eating grain or corn anyway – they are meant to eat grass. Those who eat meat and dairy should choose organic, grass-fed products. It is also true that a mostly plant based diet is better for the earth than meat fed on corn grown by fossil fuel-based mechanized agribusiness using chemical fertilizer and pesticides and GM seed from MonSatan. I think we should try to eat a diet of mostly plant foods, with as much clean animal products as we individually need to be healthy. But people should not feel guilty or failures if they are unable to be totally vegetarian.

    • Dr. BC

      Plants do not scream when chopped. I am a plant biologist and professor. I have never read any article, which talks about ‘screaming plants’. In fact plants do not have any nervous system. They do produce hormones which are transported by their vascular tissues.
      Vegan diet saved my heart, saved my life. It is very hard for us to swallow the fact that we are the most obese nation in the plagued with heart disease and cancer.
      Slaughtering a plant is a humane way of eating food, unlike slaughtering animals. If you are a true animal lover, you have to a vegetarian.

  • Pat

    I was vegan for about eight years and one of my good friends still is vegan. We are both hardworking bodybuilders, we eat approximately the same amounts of macros; however, he frequently shows symptoms of overtraining syndrome. The amino acid profile of non-animal, incomplete proteins may work for those who do not wish to add (or maintain) much muscle mass, but even the most ideal combination of complimentary plant proteins fails to provide anywhere close to the amounts of BCAAs (chiefly leucine) and glutamine that a high-quality animal protein hydrolysate or isolate (with less phytoestrogens than soy) provides. Also, no matter how meticulously a vegan watches macro and micronutrient intake, they should have their homocysteine levels checked out relatively frequently.
    With all due respect, I have never met vegans who shoved their beliefs down one’s throat as some of you have. I am totally against feedlots, McFarms and the like, but speaking as if one who chooses to eat meat has a substance abuse problem is quite an arbitrary analogy.
    Also, I include some form of L-Carnitine in my pre-workout drink before every workout. There are pretty conclusive results on its benefits. from some credible sources.
    An example:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11788381

  • http://google Dianne Crossno

    I HAVE to take L-Carnitine. It is the ONLY supplement that eliminates the chronic pain and discomfort I have in my legs. I suffer from “symptoms of polio survivors”…my mother had polio as a young child …. recovered, but suffered some of the symptoms as she aged. I am now suffering the symptoms she had. L-Carnitine is the answer for me!!!!

  • Jennifer

    You have errors in your article. For instance, the Nature Medicine article was not based on only 6 human patients. Don’t report on something unless you READ and UNDERSTAND the journal article that summarizes the research.

    • Joe

      Uh, sorry but your reply is not accurate either. There are many viewpoints one can surmise from the original article including this one. It could have been better written and clearer in my opinion. The issue is that some of us eat red meat and some don’t. I’m sure I can find fault with some of the foods you eat but it’s your choice like red meat is mine.

  • sohila zadran

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though! Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Cheers