Red meat has been linked to heart disease and cancer in a number of studies. Most of that research has focused on saturated fat and toxins that arise from cooking.
A new study from the University of San Diego School of Medicine, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, investigates another theory: that a cell-surface molecular sugar called N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), which exists in fairly high levels in milk and red meat, might build up in human tissue and inspire disease. This is from a UCSD press release on the study:
The study's senior author, Ajit Varki, M.D., UCSD professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine, and co-director of the UCSD Glycobiology Research and Training Center, said that although it is unlikely that the ingestion of Neu5Gc alone would be primarily responsible for any specific disease, "it is conceivable that gradual Neu5Gc incorporation into the cells of the body over a lifetime, with subsequent binding of the circulating antibodies against Neu5Gc (the immune response), could contribute to the inflammatory processes involved in various diseases."
Thanks VegSource for the heads up.