Interpretive Summary: Variability of sialic acids in meat from alternative species to beef and pork
By: Sebastiana Failla, Michela Contò, Maria Miarelli
- High consumption of red meat is associated with increased risk of human cardiovascular diseases and cancer. However, meat is also considered important for human diet by providing intake of essential compounds.
- Human are not able to producing N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), and its presence in human tissues is due to ingestion of animal products, red meat in particular. The accumulation of Neu5Gc causes an inflammatory process; hence, it is recommended to ingest smaller quantities of meat or meat with low quantity of Neu5Gc.
- N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) is the most abundant sialic acid in all mammals, including humans. Both Neu5Ac and Neu5Gc can be incorporated into human cells from food sources but a metabolic competition occurs between these. Thus, a higher Neu5Ac dietary intake than Neu5Gc could be sufficient to limit the incorporation of the Neu5Gc.
- Alternative animal species to beef and pork, which produce meat with low Neu5Gc and high Neu5Ac content are rabbit, kangaroo, deer, buffalo, and donkey and probably others not yet studied. This meat could avoid forms of chronic inflammation while providing essential nutrients for humans.
Read the full article in Animal Frontiers.