New Study: Red Meat Shown To Increase Risk Of Kidney Failure


Pulled pork. Most of the red meat in this population consisted of pork.

Red Meat Intake and Risk of ESRD, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, Online 14 July 2016

Randomized controlled trials suggest that protein restriction may retard the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) toward end-stage renal disease (ESRD). However, the effects of dietary protein intake level and the food sources of dietary protein on the risk of ESRD in the general population remain unclear.

We investigated these effects in the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective population-based cohort that recruited 63,257 Chinese adults aged 45–74 years from 1993 to 1998.

Red meat intake strongly associated with ESRD risk in a dose-dependent manner. In substitution analysis, replacing one serving of red meat with other food sources of protein associated with a maximum relative risk reduction of 62.4% (95% CI, 33.1 to 78.9; P<0.01).

Our study shows that red meat intake may increase the risk of ESRD in the general population and substituting alternative sources of protein may reduce the incidence of ESRD.

Press release: Red Meat Consumption Linked With Increased Risk Of Developing Kidney Failure, 14 July 2016

Lead researcher, Dr. Koh:

“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. Our findings suggest that these individuals can still maintain protein intake but consider switching to plant-based sources.”

Plant sources of protein such as soy and legumes “appeared to be slightly protective.”

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