Red meat linked to kidney damage, claims study

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

One in 10 suffer from kidney disease - and red meat exacerbates the problem
One in 10 suffer from kidney disease - and red meat exacerbates the problem

Related tags Red meat Beef Lamb Pork

Researchers at the University of Singapore have found that you are more likely to suffer from kidney failure if you eat a lot of red meat.

People who consume one serving of red meat per day are 40% more likely to run the risk of suffering from kidney damage when compared to people who eat don’t consume a lot of red meat, the study warns.

Diets of over 63,000 Chinese consumers living in Singapore were studied by a team of scientists led by Professor Koh Woon Puay from the National University of Singapore’s medical school. It has taken more than 15 years for researchers to build up a picture of the link between red meat consumption and kidney damage.

Researchers found that there was no kidney risk if red meat protein sources were swapped with other items like fish, poultry, eggs or soy and legumes.

Chronic kidney damage
The team of food and nutrition scientists carried out substitution research where red meat was replaced with another serving of protein. They found that the risk of end-stage renal disease – a chronic disease that prevents kidneys from cleaning your blood – was lowered by 50%.

The message is not to avoid red meat like poison,​” said Professor Koh in a statement. “Eat red meat in moderation, and it’s best not to make it your single meat item at every meal, or main protein source every day. Eat a variety of food sources for dietary protein.​”

University of Singapore has confirmed it is planning to run a second study to build a detailed picture of what it is in red meat that leads to kidney damage. Whilst nothing has been scientifically proven, some research believe kidney damage could result from highlevels of nitrates or acid in red meat.

Around 10% of the global population suffers from chronic kidney disease (CDK) with millions said to die every year from it, according to the National Kidney Foundation. In 2010, CDK was ranked as one of the 20 disease to causes the most deaths in the world, according to a Global Burden of Diseases study.

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