A study recently published in the peer reviewed journal Nature examined the nutrient L-cartitine which is found in abundance in red meat. Traditionally we are led to believe that a diet high in red meat increases risk of heart disease. However this study examined this relationship and suggests processed meat is the real problem. The interesting thing is the L-cartitine is also found in a whole range of dietary supplements including muscle building supplement. Search l-carnitine on the web and you’ll find fitness experts, body-builders and personal trainers discussing its use.
Essentially the researchers used both people and mice to look at the effects of this nutrient. In meat eaters who took high concentrations of the nutrient a high level of something called TMAO was seen. This TMAO is thought to speed up the atherosclerosis process (hardening of arteries) and is basically a waste product of the processing of L-carnitine.
We should be careful, the study shows an association between L-carnitine and Heart disease not a cause and effect, however you should always check what is in those supplements. interesting report for further reading here…
As a rule it is recommended that adults should limit their intake of red or processed meat to 70g per day (roughly about the weight of a average burger). Eating this amount would mean that your intake of L-carnitine will be minimal and should not affect your health