Study: Red meat consumption may up kidney failure risk

shutterstock_156757385Love to binge on red meat such as bacon, sausage, beef or pork? Be careful, an excess intake of red meat may increase the risk of kidney failure, warns a study and adds that consuming plant-based sources of protein may significantly reduce this risk.

Increasing number of people are developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), and many progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.

The findings showed that people who consumed the highest quantity of red meat had a 40 per cent increased risk of developing ESRD compared to people consuming the lowest amount.

On the other hand, substituting one serving of red meat with other sources of protein like eggs, dairy products, soy, and legumes reduced the risk of ESRD by up to 62 per cent.

“Our findings suggest that people who want to continue eating meat may opt for fish or shellfish and poultry which are better alternatives to red meat,” said lead author Woon-Puay Koh, Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore.

However, no association was found with intakes of poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy products, while soy and legumes appeared to be slightly protective.

“Individuals with CKD and other kidney-related problems can still maintain protein intake but should consider switching to plant-based sources,” Koh added.

Restricting dietary protein intake to help manage CKD and slow progression to ESRD, the researchers suggested in the work appearing in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

For the study, the team followed 63,257 Chinese adults in Singapore — from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, for more than 15 years.

This is a population where 97 per cent of red meat intake consisted of pork, the researchers said.

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