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Debunk this Danger of Heme Iron in Red Meat

Commented on February 12, 2014
Created February 12, 2014 at 1:39 AM

Is heme iron a potential risk factor for colon cancer due to endogynous production of N-nitroso compounds (AKA NOCs)? Don Matesz claims so in his just-released Powered by Plants, citing "Haem, not Protein or Inorganic Iron, Is Responsible for Endogenous Intestinal N-Nitrosation Arising from Red Meat" [free text available] in which people are fed varied amounts of red meat and NOC excretion is measured (increased in high meat consumption, but low meat consumption and vegetarian cohorts had no significant difference); moreover, in "Red meat and colon cancer: Should we become vegetarians, or can we make meat safer?" (free pdf easily found), they note that "a diet high in fresh red meat (600g/d compared with 60g/d) induces a 3-fold increase in fecal nitroso-compounds" (citing another article); they note that some N-nitroso compounds are already known carcinogens although our knowledge of them is still incomplete. At least fresh meat wasn't nearly as harmful as nitrite-cured meat.

Thanks.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 12, 2014
at 10:52 PM

You are the man Jack. 3000 mg of cholesterol per day? That sounds delicious.

D371623b5671d11fa678b201ff23442b

on February 12, 2014
at 04:19 PM

As far as I know, heme-iron is the ONLY form of iron your body recognizes and utilizes. I'm sure the body has fail-safe mechanisms to avoid toxicity of something that you need to produce hemoglobin.

Bac49edb31092c3d6db9d461485cb310

on February 12, 2014
at 03:47 PM

Good point @paleot

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 12, 2014
at 02:05 PM

A 10 fold increased in red meat produces a 3 fold increase in nitrosamines. Hrm… not convinced.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 12, 2014
at 10:39 AM

(this is the study I was referencing http://hal.inria.fr/docs/00/59/29/66/PDF/Corpet-meat-cancer-veg-safer-Meat-Sci-2011-Author-version-2011.pdf)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 12, 2014
at 10:17 AM

NOCs are inhibited with antioxidants (you'll often see cured meats packaged with vitamin C.) Marinate with herbs / spices and cook with colorful veg and you'll be fine. Red palm oil and bell peppers are good sources of E and C. Green tea after a meal also helps.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2699323

http://www.foodbiomedicalscience.com/uploads/1/8/3/3/18339365/23_2007_fc.pdf

http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/1855915

While red meat shows a ~30% increase in colon cancer on Corpet's study, I see a ~40% reduction in colon cancer when garlic and fiber are eaten.

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2 Answers

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0
96d0f148db40114c8e27f130bbbfae18

on February 12, 2014
at 08:14 PM

A year and a half ago, I engaged in a debate with the vegans on Don's blog. After a while it became obvious that they advocate their position for ideological reasons (they think they are going to save the world by making everyone go vegan). But they use false, misleading or questionable health claims to try to convince others to be like them.

! wasted $400 by allowing their arguments some credibility. I am 57 and have been eating paleo for 12 years and have been eating an average of 3000mg cholesterol for about 20 months. They claimed that fasting cholesterol readings are not what counts; it is postprandial cholesterol levels that are harmful. So I had a blood test both fasted, and a few days later after eating 50g saturated fat and 4000mg cholesterol. The measurements were the same - 150mg/dl TC. A few months ago, I went on Don's site and started to seriously consider their arguments again. This time I had a bilateral carotid ultrasound which showed normal Doppler flow parameters and no sign of plaque or narrowing of the arteries. Keep in mind that cholesterol and heart disease is their chief argument and I just proved that it is false for my N=1.

So, I have learned not to give any credibility to their arguments against animal food. If you search the web, you can find plenty of debunking of the meat - colon cancer "link". I've come across that in my travels before, but I'm not going to bother any more because these vegans have thoroughly destroyed their credibility in my eyes. The best cure for the belief that eating "red meat" causes disease? Don't read vegan propaganda!

PS Speaking of heme iron, my blood iron levels were low, so I now eat blood sausage 5 days a week. That's what I think about Don's vegan arguments ;-)

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 12, 2014
at 10:52 PM

You are the man Jack. 3000 mg of cholesterol per day? That sounds delicious.

0
Bac49edb31092c3d6db9d461485cb310

on February 12, 2014
at 01:54 AM

For what it's worth, it appears that carnosine in meat may exert protective effects (eg. for this reason it protects against hydrogen peroxide generated by heme (http://thatpaleoguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/carnosine-colons-and-cancer.html).

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 12, 2014
at 10:39 AM

(this is the study I was referencing http://hal.inria.fr/docs/00/59/29/66/PDF/Corpet-meat-cancer-veg-safer-Meat-Sci-2011-Author-version-2011.pdf)

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on February 12, 2014
at 10:17 AM

NOCs are inhibited with antioxidants (you'll often see cured meats packaged with vitamin C.) Marinate with herbs / spices and cook with colorful veg and you'll be fine. Red palm oil and bell peppers are good sources of E and C. Green tea after a meal also helps.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2699323

http://www.foodbiomedicalscience.com/uploads/1/8/3/3/18339365/23_2007_fc.pdf

http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/1855915

While red meat shows a ~30% increase in colon cancer on Corpet's study, I see a ~40% reduction in colon cancer when garlic and fiber are eaten.

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