ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Eating Meat of Livestock Fed with Ractopamine Could Make You Suffer from Heart Attack and Cardiac Arrest

Updated on February 15, 2014

A cow (photo from Wikipedia)

FDA has allowed use of ractopamine as feeds additive in livestock

FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has allowed the use of ractopamine as additive in feeds for livestock. What is wrong with that?

“Ractopamine is a beta agonist drug that increases protein synthesis, thereby making the animal more muscular. This reduces the fat content of the meat and increases the profit per animal..." (Internet Dec. 29,2013).

The drug is given to cattle up until slaughter time. Some 20% of it may stay as residue in the meat purchased and consumed (Internet. Dec. 29.2013).

Those asthma patients taking a beta-agonist drug (Advair) commonly complain of weight gain. That is why the manufacturer is required to include “... added weight gain to the post-marketing side effects. Some side effects of beta-agonist drugs are insomnia, hypertension, high heart rate and angina.

A beta-agonist is a “... bronchodilator medicine that opens the airways by relaxing the muscles around the airways that may tighten during an asthma attack or in COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Beta-agonists can be administered by inhalers or orally....”(Internet Dec. 29,2013).

Why the adverse side effects of beta-agonists to humans?

Let’s take a look into a beta related medication for humans: propranolol.

“Propranolol is a beta-blocker. Beta-blockers affect the heart and circulation (blood flow through arteries and veins).”

Propranolol is prescribed to treat angina (chest pain), hypertension, heart rhythm disorders and to prevent heart attack (Internet. Dec. 29,2013).

How does beta-blocker work?

Neurotransmitters enable nerve cells to communicate with each other. The released neurotransmitters attach to receptors on other cells and induce changes within the receptor-containing cells. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter.

"Nerves of the sympathetic nervous system release norepinephrine that binds to beta receptors on other cells. Propranolol inhibits the sympathetic nervous system by blocking the beta receptors on the nerves of the sympathetic system..." ( Internet. Dec. 29,2013).

A receptor is like a tube that protrudes in the outside and in the inside of the cell. A drug can affect the cell just by landing on the receptor.

Now the beta-antagonist (beta-blocker) works exactly the opposite of beta-agonist (ractopamine). For example, beta-blocker reduces heart rate. Ractopamine increases heart rate. Beta-blocker prevents heart attack. Ractopamine promotes heart attack and cardiac arrest. How?

Heart attack is different from cardiac arrest. In the latter, the heart rate is very fast, as fast as 300 beats per minute - the normal being about 60. When that happens, the heart has no time to fill in blood resulting in ventricular fibrillation. One effect is that pulse becomes absent - no pulse at all. For lack of blood inside it the heart fails to feed blood to organs. Also, the heart fails to feed itself with blood - resulting in cardiac arrest. Death can occur within six minutes of cardiac arrest..

In heart attack, fast heart rate increases demand for oxygen. For beating fast, the heart also gets tired. Fast heart rate increases the amount of calmodulin, a protein that rides along calcium entering cells (Cranton, E. MD. Bypassing Bypass. Updated second edition. 1995). Inadequate supply of oxygen results in hypoxia then angina. Too much calmodulin and calcium poison the heart. Death can occur within five minutes of heart attack (Ornish. D. MD. Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease. 1996).

Do not take propranolol if you are allergic to it “... if you have asthma, a slow heart rate, or a serious heart condition such as "sick sinus syndrome" or "AV block" (unless you have a pacemaker)” (Internet. Dec. 29,2013).

FDA sued

“In an effort to get this dangerous additive out of American meat products, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a complaint against "the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for withholding records pertaining to ractopamine’s safety...."

As a consumer I will not wait for the decision of the court on the lawsuit. I would avoid consuming meat containing ractopamine.

Like diethylstilbestrol (DES)

Ractopamine is like DES that was used to accelerate growth of livestock. DES does not promote cancer in the fellow who takes it, usually women. However, it was found that the female daughter of the mother who took DES during her pregnancy contracts cancer. DES is now banned for use in livestock industry.

Ractopamine banned in 160 countries

The use of ractopamine as feed additive in livestock is already banned in Europe and other 160 countries. However, its use is still allowed in the United States.

Put part of the blame on FDA.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)