New research points to a type of iron found only in meat as a possible cause of heart disease.
What the research has found is that this type of iron increases the risk of heart disease by 57 per cent.
The study was done by Jacob Hunnicut, a graduate student in the School of Public Health at Indianna University.
It will probably prompt some people to avoid eating liver, often promoted as an excellent source of iron. I wish I had known about this when my mother was refusing to allow me to eat dessert unless and until I ate my liver.
Hunnicut and faculty members examined 21 previously-published studies and data involving 292,454 participants during an average 10.2 years of follow-up.
Hunnicutt said the link between iron intake, body iron stores and coronary heart disease has been debated for decades by researchers, with epidemiological studies providing inconsistent findings.
Their new research looked at total iron consumption as well as intake of heme and non-heme iron, which comes from plants and other meat sources.
Only heme iron was found to be linked with cornonary heart disease.
The study has been published online in the Journal of Nutrition.