There are many potential bad foods lurking in supermarkets. The innocent chicken may be one of them. Did you know chickens cause heart attacks? Chickens cause kidney disease? Probably not. Americans buy more chicken than any other food at the center of the plate. Total chicken consumption per capita has increased nearly every year since the mid 1960’s. One among 200,000 people may suffer a heart attack from eating chicken.
Eating chicken may lead to heart attacks. That also includes turkey. For some people, eating poultry may result in a heart condition. Yes, the meat considered a healthier alternative to beef and pork, chicken meat may be at the root of heart problems.
Hyperhomocysteine or “Homocystinuria is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder (≈1:200 000 births), an inherited disorder of the metabolism of the amino acid methionine. While chicken is considered a low fat and high protein source (and economical and tasty), those with this genetically transmitted condition may receive a heart attack (over time) by consuming chicken, turkey, or other poultry. Yes, chickens cause heart attacks.
Those with Hyperhomocysteinemia condition, involving homocysteine as “characterized by chemical reactivity supporting a wide range of molecular effects, and a tendency to promote oxidant stress-induced cellular toxicity” may be sensitive to a protein found in chicken meat. High blood levels of homocysteine have been associated with artery breakdown and heart attacks. For over a decade, most doctors do not routinely test for homocysteine levels.
High homocysteine levels, generally above 10 in blood test scores, may increase heart attack risks by up to nearly 20%.
Poultry, such as chicken or turkey, have a protein-based amino acid called L-methionine. This is normally not problematic. There are those people that may have problems with L-methionine metabolism. A single serving of chicken may elevate homocysteine blood levels, per American Heart Association study. Formation of high homocysteine levels are the result in that group of people who are sensitive to methionine that may metabolize into homocysteine. For these people chicken is toxic. “Homocystinuria is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder (≈1:200 000 births) that usually results from defective activity of cystathionine synthase, as a deficiency.
The risk of untested homocysteine may confound LDL cholesterol levels by marginal to significant levels. Can dietary chicken be one of the culprits?
While there is little inference of causality due to small studies, increased homocysteine levels seem to to be found in renal patients – diseases of the urine tract and the kidneys.
A relative of mine, as an example, had a homocysteine based heart attack over 20 years ago. He was treated by normal cardio-logical treatments, with no recurrence. He died 20 years later due to kidney problems and renal cancer. In cases such as this, high homocysteine levels may have factored in both the heart attack and renal diseases.
If L-Methiaonine is a known factor associated with renal variables, some health practitioners find benefit from L-Methiaonine for liver problems. Nutritionists suggest uses of L-Methionine:
A deficiency of methionine can lead to inflammation of the liver (steatohepatitis), anemia, and greying hair. However, a diet low in methionine may also extend lifespan and reduce risk of cancer. High methionine foods include nuts, beef, lamb, cheese, turkey, pork, fish, shellfish, soy, eggs, dairy, and beans.
Then some nutritionists make these recommendations for reducing homocysteine blood levels:
Eat less fatty meat, more ﬁsh and vegetable protein Eat no more than four servings of lean meat a week; ﬁsh (not fried) at least three times a week; and if you’re not allergic or intolerant, a serving of a soya-based food, such as tofu, tempeh or soya sausages, plus beans, such as kidney beans, chickpea hummus, and chickpeas.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, elevated homocysteine levels associated with heart and dementia probabilities may be managed this way:
“To lower homocysteine levels, Dr. Weil recommends increasing your intake of B vitamins, particularly folate, and moderating stress. The richest food sources of folate (the form of folic acid found in food) are green vegetables, orange juice and beans. Dr. Weil also recommends taking a multivitamin that gives you 400 micrograms of folic acid in addition to what you might get from your diet. (Some people might absorb this vitamin better in supplement form, which Dr. Weil considers good insurance.) To reduce stress, Dr. Weil advises practicing breathing exercises, meditation and mind-body exercises such as yoga.”
Generally, homocysteine maintenance at normal levels are results of vitamin therapy. You will see homocysteine nutrients in most supplement sections. Homocysteine is normally changed into other amino acids for use by the body. If your homocysteine level is too high, you may not be getting enough B vitamins to help your body use the homocysteine.
Most people who have a high homocysteine level don’t get enough folate (also called folic acid), vitamin B6 or vitamin B12 in their diet. Replacing these vitamins often helps return the homocysteine level to normal. Other possible causes of a high homocysteine level include low levels of thyroid hormone, kidney disease, psoriasis, some medicines or when the condition runs in your family.
It was once a generally accepted notion that a diet rich poultry and eggs elevated homocysteine levels linked to heart, artery, dementia, and renal diseases. At least, in certain people. Rat studies show that chicken protein complexes may also reduce homocysteine levels.
In the last 20 years, homocysteine and C-Reactive Protein levels have taken steps back to overall cholesterol levels as possible disease predictors, per many insurances.
If you have suspicions of elevated homocysteine blood levels, speak to your doctor and ask for testing. For most, balance may be found through nutritional supplementation or vitamins. Dr. Patrick Frattelone believes that nutritional balance is best for normal people. For those with higher levels of homocysteine, reducing chicken and eggs, he believes, offer benefit.
Should you bother to avoid eating chickens? Not really. Only unless you have high homocysteine levels in a medical blood test. Most likely, you won’t be aware of it. Most doctors, including cardiologists, test for homocysteine. That seems very irresponsible doesn’t it?
Not necessarily so! Homocystinuria occurs in approximately 1 out of 200,000. That is very far from average. The bells toll more frequently for more heart attacks from overall LDL cholesterol and excess body fat. Even holistic approaches to medical care might easily overlook homocysteine and its association with a primary food group.
Why do doctors fail to add homocysteine tests for routine blood analysis? Doctors and insurances tend to overlook deviations from average. It may have something to do with routines according to specialization. Homocysteine may relate to heart, arteries, renal, Alzheimer, and a host of other conditions. Finding an integrative approach usually does not fall into average medical care. You can consult with your physician to add the test. But why the suspicion?
If you are monitoring less than ideal cholesterol levels, homocysteine levels have been recognized to help predict hear disease probabilities. If life and living is important to you, be assertive to get the fuller picture. Answers might be easy or difficult. That’s life – states of confusion reaching for happiness. Homocysteine readings are similar. Who should be tested for homocysteine?
Next time you walk through the poultry section at the supermarket, choose a chicken. Roast it. Enjoy it. Just be aware. Among the other customers, who might have homocystinuria, may be the victim of a heart attack. It may even be you. Evil lurks without evidence. Chickens may be inadvertent murderers. Chickens cause heart attacks and one might be yours. Or not.