A genetic mutation that happened 3 million years ago causes heart attacks
2 - 3 million years ago a gene was inactivated in our ancestors due to genetic mutations.
Active form of this gene in chimpanzees protects them from heart attacks.
The inactivated gene named CMAH was responsible for making sialic acid molecule Neu5Gc.
Genetically modified mice that lacked Neu5Gc were twice at risk of atherosclerosis.
Feeding red meat rich in Neu5Gc to these mice further increased their risk of atherosclerosis.
Plans to develop an antidote to fight ill effects of eating red meat.
Study by University of California San Diego School of Medicine published in PNAS.