Reference: Neu5Ac And Neu5Gc

Mystery of the meat-eaters’ molecule

Some of this might sound familiar: several previous studies have linked ingestion of red meat to cancer and heart disease, and possibly to some other disorders involving inflammation, such as arthritis and lupus. But these focused mostly on the role of saturated fats, and on products that arise from cooking.

Prof Varki, however, believes that his little molecular difference could also be to blame: Neu5Gc elicits an immune reaction that might contribute to a whole spectrum of human-specific diseases. Although they have not proven this yet, the evidence is sufficiently compelling for his team to start work on ways to eliminate Neu5Gc from the body.

What is very interesting is that the above article was published just today.

Yet a search through Google produces articles that are years old!

First: N-Acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) wikipedia entry


Cell Surface Dietary Marker in Cancer and Immune Disease

UCSD researchers have discovered that a non-human sialic acid molecule from red meat and milk is incorporated in human cells through dietary intake, and builds up in tumors. The compound, called Neu5Gc, is found on the surfaces of animal cells but is not found in humans, and may be one reason why animal-to-human organ and tissue transplants do not work well. Humans carry Neu5Ac instead of Neu5Gc.

The UCSD researchers developed an antibody to Neu5Gc, and used it to determine that Neu5Gc appears in human tumor samples, but is much less abundant in healthy tissue. The small amounts of Neu5Gc in normal tissues also raise the possibility that anti-Neu5Gc antibodies are involved in autoimmunity. Autoimmune disease occur when the body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue and include type-1 or juvenile diabetes and some types of arthritis. Additional tests showed that most people had made their own antibodies that recognized Neu5Gc, and thus could potentially initiate an inflammatory immune response.


Non-human Molecule Absorbed by Eating Red Meat and Dairy Generates an Immune Response Against the Molecule. (Study by UCSD Researchers)

A non-human, cellular molecule is absorbed into human tissues as a result of eating red meat and milk products, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, published online the week of September 29, 2003 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers also showed that the same foreign molecule generates an immune response that could potentially lead to inflammation in human tissues.

Several previous studies have linked ingestion of red meat to cancer and heart disease, and possibly to some disorders involving inflammation. However, that research has primarily focused on the role of red-meat saturated fats and on products that arise from cooking. The UCSD study is the first to investigate human dietary absorption of a cell-surface molecular sugar called N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), which is found in non-human mammals. Not produced in humans, Neu5Gc occurs naturally in lamb, pork and beef, the so-called “red meats”. Levels are very low or undetectable in fruits, vegetables, hen’s eggs, poultry and fish. (see * below)


Sialic Acid and Human Evolution

In terms of the distribution of sialic acid in mammals, interesting data have been accumulated. The porcine submaxillary mucin contained N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc). The sialic acid of human brain glycolipids was exclusively N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac). The sialic acid of a glycolipid isolated from horse erythrocytes by Yamakawa was Neu5Gc. These and other results indicated that Neu5Gc is distributed in a species-specific manner and that the human species appears to be unique among mammals in terms of the lack of Neu5Gc in normal tissues.

Why haven’t I heard of this before now, in 2008, when there’s indications it goes back to at least 2003?!!?

This is Grade-A Important Stuff!

It explains many things I’ve heard over the years. It provides scientific proof for them!

I’ve had a sneaking suspicion in recent years that the entire game here on earth has been rigged. This only furthers than sensation.

Explore posts in the same categories: C.O.A.T. - Food, Reference - Life, Reference - Science, Science

8 Comments on “Reference: Neu5Ac And Neu5Gc”

  1. monica karge Says:

    Very interesting. Becoming vegan is more appealing everyday. I am sure you have heard about all the junk companies put in “natural vitamins” too. … that blow my mind away.

  2. Rein Reio Says:

    From what I have read, most studies have concentrated on showing that red meat and saturated fat are the culprits. Now here is basic difference betwen humans and other mammels…why has noone picked up on this.
    Should the scientists not look for a way to eliminate/reduce the passing of Neu5Gc from consumption of red meat. To eliminate red meat from our diet would be next to impossible and cause economic chaos in the food industry.
    On the other hand if this passing of non-human sialic acid, if it could be eliminated/reduced, would reduce the human medical disease suffering and healthcare costs

  3. Paul Bowers Says:

    ah, but aren’t we missing something like actual evidence that consumption of red meat and increased risk of cancer? the inuit and masai on their traditional diets eat primarily red meat and milk. what’s the cancer rates amongst these groups? remember when dietary cholesterol was the boogie man in regards to heart disease because cholesterol levels correlated (very weakly, mind you) with increased incidents? haven’t heard much about dietary cholesterol intake lately have we?

  4. mikecane Says:

    >>>haven’t heard much about dietary cholesterol intake lately have we?

    I hear it all the time from my cardiologist. Told him I’d rather die from a heart attack than have my mind evaporated by Simvastatin.

    I can’t answer your question about the Inuit and Masai. There have to be other factors in either their diet or DNA that probably need to be looked at too.

  5. […] 4. Good Blog about Sialic acid with this important point: Levels are very low or undetectable in fruits, vegetables, hen’s eggs, poultry and fish. […]

  6. naysayer Says:

    The Inuit eat mainly fish and mammals, that are not red meat. The Masai might have different genes or something.

  7. Ron Says:

    The Masai don’t live long enough to develop cancer symptoms.

  8. Paul Says:

    The Inuit and Masai both have very short life expectancies, 43 for the Masai, the shortest in the world and not a great deal longer for Inuit who have the shortest live expectancy in North America. It is believed that cancer is caused by accumulated multiple mutations in the same cell over a period of many years. At any rate the odds are that one must live longer than these people do to acquire cancer. They usually die of something else first.

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