TOPIC: ARGUMENT142 - The article entitled 'Eating Iron' in last month's issue of Eating for Health reported that a recent study found a correlation between high levels of iron in the diet and an increased risk of heart disease. Further, it is well established that there is a link between large amounts of red meat in the diet and heart disease, and red meat is high in iron. On the basis of the study and the well-established link between red meat and heart disease, we can conclude that the correlation between high iron levels and heart disease, then, is most probably a function of the correlation between red meat and heart disease.
The link between large amounts of red meat in the diet and heart disease appears to be rational, for it is well established as mentioned in the argument. However, the correlation between high iron levels and heart disease, cited from a recent study, may mask other factors which also likely to cause the correlation between red meat and heart disease, and, if true, may mislead the direction of the research..
The information of the study provided, such as the respondents’ situation and their natural heritage, is insufficient to justify the correlation, considering that is a root of the argument. As for the respondents, could they represent the entire group of people? Old people, with the increased risk of many kinds of common disease-owing to the worsen condition of health, could possibly increase the risk of heart disease as well. Knowing that in some cases heart disease derives from genetic heritage; it is obvious for such kind of people suffers from heart disease, on account of gene, rather than high levels of iron. Without any specific situation of the respondents, the argument could not convince us that it includes all kinds of people, range from young to old, and free of genetic heritage. In addition, during the process of the study, it is not clear that what the diet, with high levels of iron acquire by respondents, is. Does the diet contains the iron within a particular compound, which would make it difficult to be absorbed, or just the element of iron, which could easily get in? .
Even assuming the correlation between high iron levels and heart disease is existed, the conclusion that such correlation serve as a function of the correlation between red meat and heart disease, is logically flawed. The writer makes an assumption that the red meat, which contains iron as claimed, is equal to any diet contained iron, like the one that respondents have. Perhaps this is not the case. Common sense informs us that, in terms of the function and the effect, iron involved in different compounds or just the element is quite diverged. Is the iron in red meat exists as the form such as compound very different from just the element of iron? If so, a survey to research this particular form of iron in the red meat and its correlation with heart disease is necessary.
Besides iron, other elements or compounds in the red meat could also have a impact on the respondents. It is critical to clear that how many compounds and elements exist in the red meat, and most importantly, how they function. Even a fine quantity of these, could impact on the respondents. It is possible that one or several non-iron compounds or elements in the red meat caused the heart disease. Also, it is entirely possible that, the way they cook and the container of the red meat, lead to heart disease. That is to say, maybe there are some heart-disease-related elements on the inside surface of the container, and it is cooked so thoroughly for a long time that these elements have taken off from the container and immerged to the red meat. In that case, the increased risk of heart disease may ascribe to these, other than iron.
Although the correlation between the red meat and the heart disease is well established, we should investigate more details about elements and compounds within the red meat. Without ruling out the influence of these, we could not conclude that the iron contained in the red meat is the cause, which would mislead our effort of research and waste our funding, time and even lives.