Too smart for our own good
By Trent Loos
At a time when so many want to demonize the consumption of meat, and particularly red meat, I have found a scientist who is working to prove that red meat consumption is essential. Dr. Arthur Beaudet, Professor and Chair of Molecular and Human Genetics at the Baylor College of Medicine, told me on Rural Route Radio that red meat consumption will reduce the rate of autism. The reason is that red meat is such a good source of carnitine.
Beaudet shared that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now reports that as many as 1 in 30 males express some level of autism. Interestingly Beaudet, who has spent years in the field of studying autism, indicates that not all authorities even agree that autism is more prevalent today than it was years ago.
Regardless of whether the rate of autism has increased or not, we simply identify it more routinely than we did years ago. His work clearly shows that kids who eat beef early in life have a lower incidence of autism than those who do not. Human breast milk and even infant formula are excellent sources of carnitine but when we transition infants to solid food, we often feed primarily pureed vegetables and cereal leaving a real void for carnitine production in the body.
Other bits of information that Beaudet shared on the air include this. “We have found a few families where, at the time of regression of young boys, we found severely low levels of blood carnitine so we are pursuing the idea that the carnitine deficiency in the brain is a result of foods low in carnitine in the diet.”
Meat eaters receive about 75 percent of their carnitine requirement from their diet. However, dietary carnitine levels are low in vegetarians and particularly in vegans. In most people, levels of carnitine are balanced by the body’s ability to manufacture its own carnitine in the liver, kidney and brain, starting with a modified form of the amino acid lysine.
Additionally, carnitine is an amino acid that actually stimulates gut bacteria growth. Let’s not forget that the role of antibiotics is to kill gut bacteria and it would not take a Harvard-educated individual to figure out that with today’s level of antibiotics consumption by human beings that even if meat was consumed at proper levels, carnitine production could be disrupted.
I would also remind you that the Vitamin D Council has previously documented the role of Vitamin D in the prevention of autism. Once again animal products are the best source of dietary Vitamin D. So it is becoming quite clear that as the general public continues to find reasons not consume animal products, the negative impacts on human health will increase.
In closing, I would simply restate my philosophy on healthy living. Eat a moderate amount of all food groups and exercise more than you eat. Today’s notion of demonizing any one food item is not healthy for the future of the human race. The sad irony is that we tend to find these dietary-induced health issues more frequently in higher income households than we do in low income households. People that can actually afford to eat foods that are healthy but more expensive are choosing to sacrifice their health for some radical dietary misinformation.
Again it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that high income households tend to be the most informed segment of our society and the first to improve personal hygiene and live in a “sterile bubble” to protect themselves from the elements. The only problem is that the elements are in our path to protect us and we are apparently too “smart” to figure that out today.
Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at www.FacesOfAg.com, or email Trent at firstname.lastname@example.org.