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Do Animal Products Cause Inflammation?

Are you familiar with Neu5Gc and its proinflammatory role? I'm sure, most you have heard the term "chronic inflammation" and maybe suffer or know someone who suffer from an inflammatory disease. Neu5Gc or N-glycolylneuraminic acid is the nonhuman sialic acid. Humans cannot synthesize Neu5Gc because the human gene CMAH is irreversibly mutated. Sialic acids have never been detected in plants and are found in large amounts in foods of mammalian origin, especially in red meats (beef, pork, lamb). The occurence of Neu5Gc in poultry and fish is rare but common in some milk products. The bound form of Neu5Gc is bioavailable and is easily incorporated into human tissues, despite being a foreign antigen. Over time, it results in chronic inflammation or 'xenosialitis'. Long-term exposure to such inflammation is associated with Neu5Gc accumulation in the tumors and promotes carcinoma incidence in a target organ. In humans, it is detected more prominently in the colon, prostate, and ovary. Other implications of long-term exposure to N-glycolylneuraminic acid in human health and disease include atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. Although such diseases have multifactorial origins, all are aggravated by chronic inflammation.

Here is a summary of Neu5Gc content and percentage of Neu5Gc (relative to total sialic acids) of various food groups:

Be mindful. Eat in moderation. Stay active. Get enough sleep. Be happy!


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