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Allergen in Red Meat Associated with Heart Disease

Lone Star Tick

Diets high in saturated fat may lead to heart disease. But, another potential factor could be a cause of heart disease, an allergen in red meat.

Research done at the University of Virginia has found a specific allergen called galactose-α-1,3-galactose, a sugar in red meat which can cause sensitivity in people bitten by the lone star tick. Prior research showed hints that this linkage was possible. Now, the specific allergen has been identified.

The specific antibody blood marker to this allergen has shown higher levels of fatty deposits inside arteries which could be associated with heart disease.

As a reminder, this is just a preliminary association. More research must be done to show that testing for this allergen will be helpful in managing heart disease.

Lone Star tick


About Karen Blakeslee

The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service, Textiles, Home Care and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas.

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