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Associations between red meat intake and biomarkers of inflammation and glucose metabolism in women.

High consumption of red meat is linked to unhealthy inflammation and glucose metabolic profile in women.

This study investigated the relationship between red meat consumption and inflammation and glucose metabolism profile in women. Researchers evaluated the total, processed, and unprocessed red meat intake in 3690 non-diabetic female participants in the Nurses’ Health Study. The serum concentrations of inflammatory and glucose metabolic biomarkers, such as ferritin, adiponectin, hemoglobin (Hb A1c), C-reactive protein (CRP), and fasting insulin, were measured in all the subjects.

Researchers discovered that high consumption of total, processed, and unprocessed red meat increased serum concentrations of CRP, Hb A1c, ferritin, and fasting insulin but reduced plasma adiponectin levels after adjustment for demographic information. However, when adjusted for body mass index (BMI), the blood concentrations of all these biomarkers—except ferritin— were significantly reduced. In addition, substituting red meat with other protein sources, such as poultry, fish, legumes, and nuts, lowered plasma CRP, Hb A1c, ferritin, and fasting insulin levels. The result of this study supports the view that eating large quantities of red meat is associated with unhealthy biomarker profile of inflammation and glucose metabolism in non-diabetic females.

We suspect that if the study had looked at results with a separation of protein sources completely from plants that there would have been even lowered results for that group.

Research Summary Information

  • 2013
  • Sylvia H Ley, Qi Sun, Walter C Willett, A Heather Eliassen, Kana Wu, An Pan, Fran Grodstein, Frank B Hu
  • From the Departments of Nutrition (SHL, QS, WCW, KW, AP, and FBH) and Epidemiology (WCW, FG, and FBH), Harvard School of Public Health, and the Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School (QS, WCW, AHE, FG, and FBH), Boston, MA; and the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore (AP).
  • Yes, Free full text of study was found:
  • No. Source of funding disclosure not found
  • No. Potential conflicts disclosure not found
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