Animal consumption has been linked with various diseases, including Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and lung function all which can lead to premature aging. The amino acid leucine which is found in meat and dairy proteins, stimulates the kinase, rapamycin Complex (mTORC1), which promotes growth and cell proliferation.  MTORC1 is also responsible for fatty acid synthesis, that is, creating fat cells.  The rapamycin Complex is stimulated by 1) insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) found in meat and dairy, 2) cellular energy produced by digesting food, 3) amino acids, especially leucine and glutamine, and 4) saturated fat, found in all animal products (4).   Abundance of all of these, which are all found in meat products results in insulin resistance, as well as increased white blood cell levels  (3).  Insulin resistance and obesity are two main factors that lead to Type II Diabetes (3).

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TYPE II Diabetes 
Most people think those with diabetes are eating too much sugar, hence the high glucose levels, however, it is protein found in processed meats who take the blame for the higher fasting glucose and insulin concentrations (1).  High protein consumption coming from meat and dairy has been heavily linked with Type 2 Diabetes.

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photo credit: WEB MD

HEART DISEASE
Meats contain saturated fats, which cause plaques in the arteries, or atherosclerosis.  Simply put,

“Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body.

Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body.

Atherosclerosis can lead to serious problems, including heart attackstroke, or even death. ”

Source: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/atherosclerosis

 

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LUNG FUNCTION
Those with a diet full of processed meats and low in fruits and vegetables have been found to have poor lung function as compared to those who eat less meat and more fruits and vegetables (2).

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OBESITY
Obesity is linked with chronic inflammation and animal products are known to cause inflammation (5)  Additionally, insulin signaling molecules are less expressed in obese patients.

SUMMARY

In short, reducing meat consumption is a necessity for overall health. Eating more fruits and vegetables, and plant based whole foods is key to keeping the body running. Consumption of antioxidants in the diet have been linked to reduced risk of all disease.

SOURCES

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625584/

2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3956622/

3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3310004/

4 https://www.reddit.com/r/loseit/comments/3a148q/not_just_about_caloric_intake_mtorc1/

5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC380258/

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