Red Meat as a Vitamin Source

Red Meat as a Vitamin Source

The Smart Takeout Overview

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This month’s newsletter was curated and edited by: J.W. Holloway

The 1st of October 2019

Meat is an excellent source of several vitamins, along with enzymes that are relatively limited in plant-based foods. A serving of red meat (100 g) one hundred grams provides about (25%) twenty-five percent of the (RDA) Recommended Daily Allowance for riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid and almost two-thirds of the RDA of vitamin B-12 (Williams, 2007). Optimal nutritional delivery, retention, and absorption remain a key as it is essential to consider the destructive influence of specific cooking techniques on vitamin and trace element contents considering that humans rarely eat raw meat. Cooking can cause significant losses of B vitamins (Lombardi-Boccia, Lanzi, and Aguzzi, 2005) with B-12 and thiamin among the most affected B vitamins as compared with riboflavin and niacin which are less affected (D’Evoli et al., 2009; and Riccio, Mennella, and Fogliano, 2006). The sources of these quantifiable losses are of (2) two kinds: 1) water solubility: B complex vitamins are water-soluble, thus some cooking methods such as boiling may produce higher losses.  The (2nd) second kind vitamins loss is thermal instability: B vitamins are thermally unstable, thus shorter periods of cooking (stir-frying) and grilling to doneness levels less than medium may reduce these losses (Lombardi-Boccia, Lanzi, and Aguzzi., 2005; and Yang and Science, 1994). Accordingly, there is no nutritional gain cooking meat to medium, medium well, nor well done.

Vitamin B-12
Meat is a valuable source of the B vitamin complex, especially vitamin B-12, the most complex and the most significant vitamin molecule. Animal foods are considered the best dietary sources of vitamin B-12, although it is also found in certain types of algae (Watanabe, 2007). Vitamin B-12 promotes energy production in multiple ways, principally it supports the adrenal glands, red blood cell formation, and helps convert carbohydrates to glucose the fuel your body uses for energy. Essential benefits include those for cell growth and replication and production of (DNA) deoxyribonucleic acid. DNA is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth, and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses. DNA and ribonucleic acid are nucleic acids; alongside proteins, lipids and complex carbohydrates, nucleic acids are one of the four major types of macromolecules that are essential to all known forms of life.

Research has linked methylcobalamin to positive effects in support of a healthy sleep-wake cycle due to its influence on melatonin secretion and light sensitivity; it also helps normalize a person’s (24) twenty-four-hour clock. Low nutritional intake is the primary cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency, although deficiency can result from reduced absorption provoked by gastric atrophy, a common problem for the elderly (Allen, 2008). Most know vitamin B-12 as the B vitamin responsible for energy production, it is essential to understand that “vitamin B-12” is a catch-all term for a class of vitamins known as cobalamins and they are not equal in their benefits. Strict vegetarianism is also associated with low vitamin B-12 intake values (Millet et al., 1989; and Craig, 2009). Methylcobalamin or methylated B-12 is the purest, active, bioavailable coenzyme form of B-12 and when paired with adenosylcobalamin, the other coenzyme form of B-12 forms the most potent B-12 combination available. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is the leading cause of megaloblastic anemia, a fatigue ridden condition where red blood cells do not develop properly and cannot carry oxygen efficiently.

Anemia is associated with a deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 deficiency also causes increased levels of blood homocysteine, which is a cardiovascular disease risk factor (Green and Miller, 2005). Therefore, as a defense against homocysteine, B-12 is nutritional support for your cardiovascular and nervous systems. High levels of blood homocysteine are also associated with depression and neurologic impairment (Agarwal, 2011). In short, B-12 deficiency is a severe problem that can cause anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, weight loss, depression, poor memory, asthma, vision problems, and low sperm count. Vitamin B-12 bioavailability can decrease when excess vitamin B-12 is ingested (Scott, 1997) which can explain certain discrepancies in reported relationships between vitamin B-12 intake and circulating blood levels (Vogiatzoglou et al., 2009). Epidemiological studies attest to the fact that people who eat a moderate amount of red meat do meet their requirements for both vitamin B-12 and iron (Otten, Hellwig, and Meyers, 2006; and Cosgrove, Flynn, and Kiely, 2007).

Vitamin D
The recommended dietary allowances of vitamin D for an adult human is 200 IU/d and is 400 IU/d for young adults, which is (5) and (10 µg/d) five and ten respectively (American National Research Council, NRC, 1989). In order to meet these decades-old minimum requirements, an adult must eat (67 g) sixty seven grams of steak or (9 g) nine grams of liver from steers treated with (5 × 106 IU) five times one hundred six IU of vitamin D to meet his or her daily needs for this nutrient (Montgomery et al., 2002; and Cashman and Hayes, 2017). Consumption of as little as (45 µg) forty-five µg of vitamin D/d can be toxic in young children (American Academy of Pediatrics, 1963). The consumption of as little as (88 g) eighty-eight grams of the cooked liver could be toxic. The minimum dose required to cause toxicity is (1,250 µg) twelve hundred fifty µg of vitamin D, which would require (16 kg) sixteen kilograms of beef or (2.2 kg) two-point two of the liver to cause toxicity (Miller and Hayes, 1982). Olson et al. (1972) first studied the effects of administering high amounts of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 to cattle and found a (140%) one hundred forty percent increase in vitamin D concentrations in beef.

Montgomery et al. (2000) reported that feeding vitamin D over (0.5 × 106 IU/animal) point five times one hundred six IU/animal daily significantly increased vitamin D concentrations in beef and liver. Cooking samples also decreased the levels of vitamin D residues (Montgomery et al., 2000). The associated increase in vitamin D residues in liver samples poses a serious toxicological hazard, requiring livers to be removed from the food chain. However, the rise in beef muscle vitamin D concentrations does not appear to pose a toxicological risk (Montgomery et al., 2000). Assessment of toxicological hazards in tissues from vitamin D-treated cattle are further complicated by results suggesting that the dietary allowances are grossly underestimated and should be increased to at least (250 µg/d) two hundred fifty µg/d for adults. Because of the complications associated with calculating toxicological hazards associated with vitamin D, cattle should be supplemented at a level such as (0.5 × 106 IU/animal) point five times one hundred six daily to prevent a significant increase in tissue residues (Mateeschu et al., 2013).

Vitamin A & Folic Acid
Meat and meat products are also relevant sources of other micronutrients which are vital to human health. The meat itself is not an essential source of either vitamin A or folic acid except in the case of offal meats (Pereirra and Vicente, 2013). The liver is a good source of both retinol and folic acid. In the case of retinol, (100 g) one hundred grams beef liver provides about (338%) three hundred thirty-eight percent of the RDA (USDA, 2011). Along with vitamin B-12, folic acid is a significant methyl donor, which is crucial for fetal development (Zeisel, 2009) and in DNA methylation and thereby is associated with cancer prevention (Anderson, Sant, and Dolinoy, 2012). 1 Importantly, (100 g) one hundred grams of the beef liver does supply (87%) eighty-seven percent of the RDA of folic acid (Pereirra and Vicente, 2013). Within vegetable sources pinto beans and enriched whole-grain breakfast cereals are the best sources of folic acid, supplying (85% and 53%) eighty-five and fifty-three percent of RDA, respectively (USDA, 2011).

Red meat is a valuable source of vitamin B-12 as eating a moderate amount is enough to meet your body requirement of Vitamin B-12; additional key nutrients in meat include Vitamin D and Magnesium, Vitamin A and Folic Acid. Similarly, for vitamin D, (67g) sixty-seven grams per day of steak is enough for you to reach only the recommended dietary allowance, whereas Vitamin D requirements continually increase for optimum immune system health, even more so with a diagnosed disease. Indeed, meat not being the primary source of vitamin A and folic acid, (100g) one hundred grams of the beef liver offer (338%) three hundred thirty-eight percent of the RDA for Vitamin A and (87%) eighty-seven percent of the RDA for the folic acid! Indeed, the illustrations are clear and irrefutable that having red meat in your diet will provide you with many Vitamins that are each crucial for your immune system well-being!

If you would like to learn more on the subject, we recommend that you read the book “Red Meat Science and Production” Customer can order the books via Here and Here !

Literature Cited

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