Eating red meat may increase the risk of kidney failure, a new study finds.
An increasing number of people are developing chronic kidney disease, which can lead to kidney failure, a condition requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Restricting protein intake can help slow the progression of kidney disease, and research also provides some evidence that if people do this generally, this could slow kidney function decline in the general population.
To examine the relationship between various types of dietary protein and kidney function, a team from Singapore looked at data from 64,257 Chinese adults there. This is a population where 97 percent of red meat intake consists of pork, with the remainder of protein coming from poultry, fish/shellfish, eggs, dairy products, soy, and legumes.
The researchers, using a 15-year follow up period, found that red meat intake was strongly associated with an increased risk of end-stage kidney disease. They also found that people consuming the highest amounts (top 25 percent) of red meat had a 40 percent increased risk of developing the condition compared with people consuming the lowest amounts. No association was found with intakes of poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy products, while soy and legumes appeared to be slightly protective.
They also found that substituting one serving of red meat with other sources of protein reduced the risk of end-stage kidney disease by up to 62 percent, according to the findings, which appear in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
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