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Does red meat raise or lower homocysteine?

by (35)
Updated about 12 hours ago
Created November 07, 2012 at 11:42 PM

So far, I am getting results that contradict each other in my research concerning lowering homocysteine levels. On one end, planet-based diets are deficient in B6, B12, and folic acid which incurs a raised level of homocysteine in the blood. Upon hearing this information, I would think a diet somewhat high in meat will be preventable of this condition. Then again, I discovered that red meat contains methionine that converts to homocysteine. At this point, I am now in a conundrum and don't know what exactly to make out of this.

Can anyone shed some knowledge on this issue? Is it a matter of meat/plant balance? Do only some red meats cause this condition?

Thank you!

6773e5330539fc6e278c24406ed861ad
35 · November 10, 2012 at 3:29 AM

I guess this answers my question! I tried to research for about an hour before asking questions and unfortunately I didn't come across that study. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention.

6773e5330539fc6e278c24406ed861ad
35 · November 10, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Thanks for your response Matt! I suspected this ("Elevated homocysteine suggests deficiency in ... methyl-B12...) from the studies showing the vegetarians higher in homocysteine, but I was shocked that the consumers highest in red meat had similar cases. I suppose, then, their homocysteine issues are due to a folic acid defiency ... ? I still have to read up on this some more. Thanks for your help again!

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12677 · November 08, 2012 at 6:02 AM

I was pretty much going to say what Matt said, so I'll just add this study:

"The results of the present 6-mo intervention study clearly show that increasing dietary protein intake from 12% to 22% of total energy, with a corresponding increase in methionine intake, does not increase plasma homocysteine concentrations...A nonsignificant decrease in total plasma homocysteine (???25%) was observed in the (high protein) group after 3 and 6 mo of the intervention"

According to the paper "Protein sources were primarily dairy and meat products; the latter consisted mainly of beef, pork, poultry, lamb, and fish".

6773e5330539fc6e278c24406ed861ad
35 · November 10, 2012 at 3:29 AM

I guess this answers my question! I tried to research for about an hour before asking questions and unfortunately I didn't come across that study. Thanks so much for bringing it to my attention.

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41452 · November 07, 2012 at 11:56 PM

Elevated homocysteine levels mean something is amiss, but lowering them does not necessarily correct underlying problems (or that's what Wikipedia claims).

Homocysteine is an intermediate inbetween cysteine and methionine. Elevated homocystiene suggests deficiency in methyl donors (methyl-B12), methionine can serve as a methyl donor as well, regenerating homocystiene. Wikipedia has all the sexy biochemistry on the cysteine, homocysteine and methionine pages.

What will red meat do? Good levels of B12 (from meat) should drive down homocysteine. Yes, it also contains methionine and cysteine which convert to homocysteine, but assuming all is normal, homocystiene should only exist as an intermediate in low concentration.

6773e5330539fc6e278c24406ed861ad
35 · November 10, 2012 at 3:28 AM

Thanks for your response Matt! I suspected this ("Elevated homocysteine suggests deficiency in ... methyl-B12...) from the studies showing the vegetarians higher in homocysteine, but I was shocked that the consumers highest in red meat had similar cases. I suppose, then, their homocysteine issues are due to a folic acid defiency ... ? I still have to read up on this some more. Thanks for your help again!

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