Red meat consumption linked to kidney failure

A new study 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.

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.

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.
They linked the data with the Singapore Renal Registry, which holds the records of all Singapore ESRD patients.
The overall aim was to uncover the role of different protein sources on kidney health outcomes.

“We embarked on our study to see what advice should be given to CKD patients or to the general population worried about their kidney health regarding types or sources of protein intake,” explains Koh.

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

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.

Woon-Puay Koh said that “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.”

The researchers estimate that replacing one serving of red meat per week with a different protein source reduces the risk of developing ESRD by up to 62 percent.

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