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Pakistan Notmilk/Notmeat Newspaper Story

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  • Robert Cohen
    If you continue to consume dairy products and meat, read this and weep: ____________________________________________________ Molecule Found in Meat, Milk gives
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2005
      If you continue to consume dairy products and meat,
      read this and weep:

      Molecule Found in Meat, Milk gives rise to Tumors
      Saturday October 1, 2005

      ISLAMABAD: A non-human molecule found in red meat and milk makes its
      way into the human system when eaten -- and seems to build up
      especially in tumors, according to U.S. researchers report.
      The compound, called sialic acid, is found on the surfaces of animal
      cells but is not found in people, and may be one reason why animal-
      to-human organ and tissue transplants do not work well. Animals have
      a version called Neu5Gc, while humans carry Neu5Ac.

      But researchers at the University of California San Diego found it
      does show up in the human body, and showed it can be absorbed from
      eating red meat and milk.

      They also showed that the body produces an immune response against
      the molecule.

      Dr. Ajit Varki and colleagues, reporting in the Proceedings of the
      National Academy of Sciences, say it is too soon to make any
      recommendations based on their findings.

      "Of course, there are already existing recommendations that people
      should not consume too much food containing saturated fats, such as
      dairy products and red meats," Varki said in a statement.

      "The highest amount (of Neu5Gc) was found in lamb, pork, and beef
      (so-called 'red meat')," the researchers wrote. Levels were very low
      or undetectable in poultry and fish, vegetables and hen's eggs.

      Varki, who is not a vegetarian, noted that many studies have linked
      a diet rich in meat and milk with cancer, heart disease and other

      "The small amounts of Neu5Gc in normal tissues also raise the
      possibility that anti-Neu5Gc antibodies are involved in
      autoimmunity," the researchers said.

      Autoimmune disease occur when the body mistakenly attacks healthy
      tissue and include type-1 or juvenile diabetes and some types of
      arthritis. "In this regard, it is interesting that vegetarian diet
      has been suggested to improve rheumatoid arthritis," they wrote.

      But much research has focused on the fat content of animal fat or
      byproducts of cooking meat as the cause of disease.

      Varki's collaborator Dr. Elaine Muchmore developed an antibody -- an
      immune system targeting protein -- that would hook onto Neu5Gc. The
      team found Neu5Gc in human tumor samples and to a much lower degree
      in healthy tissue.

      More tests showed that most people had made their own antibodies
      that recognized Neu5Gc, and thus could potentially initiate an
      inflammatory immune response.

      Varki and two colleagues drank Neu5Gc purified from pork sources,
      and the molecule showed up in their urine, blood, hair and saliva.

      "We need to find out if there is any association between the
      presence of Neu5Gc and/or the anti-Neu5Gc antibodies with any
      disease," Varki said. "This will require large-scale population

      In some cases the human immune response was similar to that seen
      when people are exposed to another animal molecule, this one a cell
      surface molecule called alpha galactose.

      Varki noted that the molecule is almost certainly not immediately
      toxic to people.

      "Meat eating has certainly been a feature of human ancestors for
      many hundreds of thousands of years," he said.

      "Thus, it is indeed possible that humans have developed some kind of
      tolerance or indifference to Neu5Gc. However, most humans are
      continuing to make antibodies against Neu5Gc."

      It could be that the damage only builds up over years -- and that as
      people live longer, the consequences make themselves felt.

      "However, we are now living longer and the question arises whether
      the gradual accumulation of Neu5Gc and the simultaneous presence of
      antibodies against could be involved in some diseases of later
      life," he said.
      Robert Cohen
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