Sunday, June 17, 2007

Foie (No) Gracias

I never thought I’d say this, but you might want to just buy some of that name-brand beef paste in a can—for health and safety reasons.

From the Times Online:

Foie gras could be tasty way to get Alzheimer’s
Jonathan Leake, Science Editor

FOIE GRAS, enjoyed as a luxury since ancient Egyptian times, may be linked to the onset of diseases including Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, researchers have suggested.
The scientists who carried out the study say those with a family history of such illnesses should consider avoiding foie gras. The possible risk comes from “amyloid” proteins found in the delicacy, which is made from the swollen livers of force-fed geese and ducks. The proteins have been linked to the onset of all these conditions. In their study, the researchers found mice fed on foie gras started growing amyloid proteins in various organs. They observed a similar result when extract of foie gras was injected into the rodents’ bloodstream. “It may be hazardous for individuals who are prone to develop other types of amyloid-related disorders such as Alzheimer’s or type 2 diabetes to consume such products,” said Alan Solomon, an expert in amyloid diseases at the University of Tennessee medical school, who led the research.
Foie gras has long been controversial because of the way food is forced down the birds’ throats. .. Amyloid disease occurs when proteins that would normally be soluble undergo a change in shape. This makes them form insoluble clumps in organs that damages the way they work. Such abnormal behaviour by proteins seems to play a role in many diseases, including BSE, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. There appear to be many triggers for creating such rogue proteins in the body – one of them is eating foods that already contain them. It was, for example, the consumption of brains from cattle infected with BSE that transmitted the disease to humans, killing 161 Britons since 1995. The possible link between food and amyloid diseases needs to be confirmed by further studies, for example comparing populations to see how disease prevalence varies with diet…

1 comment:

GroupGross said...

Damn. I just started the all Foie Gras Diet.