Red meat consumption increases the risk of fatty liver disease

Red meat health risk

Red meat and sausages consumed excessively are not good for your health. In addition to the already identified cancer risks, this over-consumption of  such products would increase the risk of developing NASH, the fatty liver disease.

The consumption of red meat continues to decrease in the United States. As of 2014, Americans consume on average 51.1 pounds of beef per year compared to 88.8 lbs in 1976.  A trend that should continue to grow for several reasons: health scandals, veganism trend and meat risks. However, the true extents of the risks posed by the consumption of red meat are still being debated.

Indeed, the consumption of red meat is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, but could also have an impact on the risk of breast cancer, according to the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research Inserm. A new study, published in the Journal of Hepatology, shows that over-consumption of red meat and sausages increases the risk of developing non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It was conducted by Israeli researchers from Tel Aviv University and Haifa University.

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), also known as fatty liver disease or junk food disease, is non-alcoholic cirrhosis. It is related to diet, and mainly to a high consumption of fats and sugars. Millions of Americans suffer from NASH and for now, liver transplantation is the only care technique.

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Around 800 people participated in the research. 38.7% of patients were diagnosed with NASH. The largest consumers of red meat were mainly young men, with a high body mass index, and a high caloric intake.

The results show a link between the consumption of red meat and sausages and NASH, regardless of the consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol of individuals. In addition, most consumers of red meat use poor cooking techniques. Shira Zelber-Sagi is one of the authors of this research, she recommends eating rather white meats, such as turkey or chicken. But why not just go vegan?

Sarah Ali

Sarah is currently pursuing a degree in Pharmacology at the University of Florida. She focuses on health news and tips for The Talking Democrat.