If you hear elsewhere about a recent study blaming red meat for kidney failure, be aware that the headline should read “pork.” Read on for details.
Wait, what? I thought pork was “the other white meat.”
First they told us red meat caused cancer. Then cardiovascular disease. Then diabetes. And now kidney failure. Why eat it at all? I still do, but in moderation.
You have to take studies like this with a grain of salt. There are numerous confounding factors that may invalidate results. For instance, if you’re not Chinese and living in Singapore, results of this study may not apply to you. For another instance, Chinese pork may be different from English, Indian, Canadian, and U.S. pork.
A quote from the article at MNT:
“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 [ESRD = end-stage renal disease]. 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 chronic kidney disease patients or to the general population worried about their kidney health regarding types or sources of protein intake,” explains Koh.
In China, the primary red meat is pork, accounting for 97 percent of red meat intake. Other popular protein sources included eggs, dairy, shellfish, fish, soy, legumes, and poultry.
The participants were followed up for an average of 15.5 years. During that time, 951 cases of ESRD occurred; the resultant data showed a clear trend.
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.”