Common nutrient in beef, chicken, dairy may raise risks of heart disease, death

Credit: Justus Menke / Unsplash.

Sulfur amino acids are essential for metabolism and overall health and are primarily found in proteins such as beef, chicken, and dairy.

But the average person in the United States consumes far more than needed – as much as two and a half times the estimated average requirement.

In a study from Penn State University, scientists found eating too much food containing sulfur amino acids may increase a person’s risk of heart disease and death.

This may provide part of the reason why people who consume diets that emphasize healthy plant foods have lower rates of heart disease than those who eat large amounts of meat and dairy foods.

In the study, the team analyzed data from 120,699 people in two long-term national studies, the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Participants completed detailed health questionnaires, including questions about their diets, every two to four years.

On average, participants ate more than twice the recommended daily amount of sulfur amino acids, mostly from beef, chicken, and milk.

The researchers found that, compared to those who ate the least, those who consumed the most sulfur amino acids had a 12% increased risk of developing heart disease and a 28% increased risk of dying from the condition.

A previous study linked higher consumption of sulfur amino acids to higher cardiometabolic disease risk.

This research builds on that work, with the advantage of using long-term diet data assessed by repeated food frequency questionnaires and health outcome data.

The team says people can get their estimated average requirement of sulfur amino acids – 15 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day – through plant-based sources or fish.

For a 150-pound adult, for instance, that would mean 1 cup of tofu and 1 cup of lentils a day. It can be also met by consuming a 3-ounce fillet of tuna.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

The study was conducted by Laila Al-Shaar et al.

Copyright © 2022 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.