Red Meat Consumption Linked to Kidney Failure

Red Meat Consumption Linked to Kidney FailureRed Meat Consumption Linked to Kidney Failure

A new study, published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, investigated the long-term impact of red meat consumption on kidney health. Their findings justify the current caution suggested in regard to red meat and organ health  

Red meat, such as beef and lamb is included as part of a healthy diet. But, as with many dietary components, it is best to limit the amount consumed.

The American Institute for Cancer Research recommend eating no more than 18 ounces of red meat per month because of its links with certain cancers, including stomach cancer.

A study, published in JAMA in 2012, documented 23,926 deaths and concluded that red meat consumption was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.

The present study, carried out at Duke-NUS Medical School and Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at the National University of Singapore, further investigated red meat’s potential impact on kidney health.

An increasing number of people are developing chronic kidney disease (CKD); globally, an estimated 500 million people have CKD. Many patients with CKD go on to develop end-stage renal disease (ESRD), a serious condition that requires kidney dialysis or transplant.

Researcher Woon-Puay Koh and her team delved into data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, which included more than 63,000 adults, aged 45-74. The overall aim was to uncover the role of different protein sources on kidney health outcomes, reported.

The participants were followed up for an average of 15.5 years. During that time, 951 cases of ESRD occurred; the resultant data showed a clear trend.

Red meat intake was associated with increased ESRD risk. Individuals who consumed the highest amounts of red meat - the top 25% - showed a 40% higher risk of developing ESRD than those who consumed the least red meat - the bottom 25%.

Other sources of protein - fish, eggs, dairy, and poultry - showed no associations with the development of ESRD. Additionally, soy and legumes appeared to play a slightly protective role.

“Our findings suggest that these individuals can still maintain protein intake but consider switching to plant-based sources; however, if they still choose to eat meat, fish/shellfish and poultry are better alternatives to red meat.”