• People allergic to alpha-gal have a higher risk for CVD because of higher arterial plaque.
  • There is no medication to treat the red meat sensitivity.
  • This study paves the road for further more specific research. 


Heart-related diseases are the number one cause of mortality in the world according to the World Health Organisation. It is such a common disease that you probably know someone who suffers from it. The death rates from this disease are higher for developing countries and that’s a scary 75%. Probably, the cause of this phenomenon is the lack of addressing CVD risks to medicals and as a result the management of the disease.

Introducing the research.

IgE to the Mammalian Oligosaccharide Galactose-α-1,3-Galactose Is Associated With Increased Atheroma Volume and Plaques With Unstable Characteristics” is a study published in the online website ATVB (Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology) of the American Heart Association.

The aim was to analyze and recognize the allergen of red meat. In order to do that, the study’s experts examined 118 adults’ blood samples. Researchers were able to mark the sensitivity to red meat by discovering antibodies to alpha-Gal in approximately 30 of participants. Alpha-Gal is the main allergen in red meat and it is also called 3-galactose or galactose-α-1. This type of complex sugar is correlated with an excessive fat deposit in the blood arteries and high arterial plaque. The antibody which is specific to alpha-Gal is called IgE (immunoglobulin). Furthermore, it is interesting pointing out a discovery from researchers that when the northeastern water tick bites people, it makes them sensitive to the alpha-Gal allergen.

Findings and suggestions.

Participants who were sensitive to the alpha-Gal allergen appeared to have 30% higher arterial plaque compared to participants who weren’t sensitive. Arterial plaques are indicators of atherosclerosis and their structure appeared to be erratic for people who were sensitive to the allergen. Unfortunately, this is translated to a higher risk for CVD. Not all people are sensitive to red meat but even for those who are, the only treatment is to not consume it. Researchers note that, with this new discovery, other experts will have a new proposition to take into consideration for further studies, even though it is just introductory, for people who suffer from heart-related diseases and are sensitive to red meat at the same time.

Until further research has been conducted and new treatments are developed, researchers suggest that people who suffer from CVD and are sensitive to red meat should switch and continue to consuming healthy food like fruits and vegetables, whole grains etc. Furthermore, quitting smoking, doing sufficient physical activity, stress handling etc. will help to maintain a healthy heart life.