In addition to increasing one’s risk for experiencing cardiovascular incidents, developing Type 2 diabetes, and certain forms of cancer, those who adhere to heavy meat diets more often than not do so to the exclusion of other important food groups. The latest data on this comes courtesy of Rui Wang, Ph.D. in a meta-analysis exploring the parameters a little more squarely.
Dr.Wang, of York University, determined that an excess of unhealthy protein sources can positively impact accelerated aging as well as the development of chronic illnesses. The strength of his research survives on a gas called H25.
Independently conducted research has indicated that high-levels of H25 in the body can result in convulsions, brain and heart damage, and death. Yet, the very same toxic gas appears to contribute to healthy aging. So long as it’s delivered to the right parts of the body.
“The trick is delivering H2S where it’s needed — safely. Several pharmaceutical companies are working on compounds that bind it while in transit through the body, and release it in tiny doses in the tissues,” Dr. Wang wrote.
“In the lab, we can control experimental diets. In the real world, people snack or grab a burger when they don’t want to cook. If delivery mechanisms can be made reliably and cheaply enough, it could be possible to gain the health effects of increased tissue H2S without dictating what people eat.”
High intake of sulfur amino acids (which are found the most abundantly in meat, dairy, and eggs) seems to suppress H2S in living tissue.
Allium vegetables like garlic, onion, leeks, chives, and scallions, provide healthy sources of dietary sulfur, while nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes provide healthy sources for amino acids.
“An average adult American consumes sulfur amino acids (SAA) at levels far above the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) and recent preclinical data suggest that higher levels of SAA intake may be associated with a variety of aging-related chronic diseases,” posits a recent paper published in the Lancet.
“More recently, a collaborative team involving me and led by scientists at Harvard, performed a series of animal studies in which we restricted the intake of two sulphur amino acids — cysteine and methionine — to study what effects this had.,” Wand continued.
“It caused the animals to ramp up production of H2S in their tissues, which triggered a cascade of beneficial effects. These included increased new blood vessel generation, which promotes cardiovascular health, and better resistance to oxidative stress in the liver, which is linked to liver disease.”
Although popular regimens like the Flexitarian diet allow subscribers to fit meat in here and there, most dieticians advise against consuming red meat more than 3 times a week.
Components found in red meat increase levels of serum phosphate in the body alongside other substances studied to accelerate our biological age. The same reportedly increases one’s risk of developing colorectal cancer.
“Red meat is particularly high in sulphur amino acids, but fish and poultry white meat also contain a lot (the dark meat has less). Switching to plant-based proteins would help reduce this intake. High-protein diets are having a moment. In any grocery store you can now buy a protein bowl, pick up a protein box of eggs and nuts for lunch, or snack on a protein bar,” Wang wrote in the report.
“But there’s evidence that restricting which proteins you eat — particularly cutting back on meat — could be important for healthy aging. The surprising reason: it forces the tissues to make hydrogen sulphide (H2S), a gas that’s poisonous if inhaled and smells like rotten eggs, but promotes health inside the body.”