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April 8th, 2013
10:32 AM ET

Study: Compound in red meat linked to hardening of the arteries, heart disease

A new study released Sunday shows an alarming link between a dietary compound found in red meat and heart disease.

It has been previously established that the fat in red meat can be bad for the human heart but this latest study links a compound in red meat to hardening of the arteries. CNN’s Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen breaks down the latest links and discoveries regarding the compound in red meat.

Researchers are just now beginning to focus in on the chemical called carnitine converts to a chemical called TMAO says Cohen. When researchers looked to human beings’ TMAO levels they found that those "with high TMAO levels were more likely to have a heart attack or stroke” she adds. The initial discovery left “a lot of researchers … stunned at this because they were so focused on the fat in meat,” says Cohen.

The American Meat institute released a statement regarding the recent links saying “this study should not prompt any dietary changes and consumers who enjoy red meat should continue to do so with confidence.”

Filed under: Discoveries • Heart disease • Medical
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