Can Red Meat Affect Your Kidneys?

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A new study published in the Journal of the American society of Nephrology concluded  that red meat intake may increase the risk of kidney disease in the general population and substituting alternative sources of protein for red meat from time to time may reduce that risk.

To determine the relationship of dietary intake of major sources of protein and kidney function researchers analyzed datas from the Singapore Chinese Health Study tghat is a prospective study of 63,257 Chinese adults in Singapore. In this population 97% of the red meat intake was from pork. Other food sources of protein included poultry, fish/seafood, eggs, dairy products, soy and legumes. Subjects were followed for an average of 15.5 years and results showed that red meat intake was strongly associated with an increase risk of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) in a dose-dependent manner. People consuming the highest amount of red meat (25%) had a 40 % increase risk of developing ESRD compared with people consuming the lowest amount (lowest 25%). There was no association with kidney disease and intakes of poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy products.  In addition, soy and legumes seemed to be slightly protective of the kidneys. Researchers conclude that substituting one serving of red meat with other sources of protein reduced the risk of ESRD by up to 62%. Researchers concluded “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/seafood and poultry are better alternatives to red meat.”

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