Eating high amounts of red meat has been found to increase kidney failure. In a study, those who ate the highest amounts of red meat had a 40 percent higher risk of developing ESRD (end-stage renal disease), or as we call it, kidney failure.
ESRD is the final stage of chronic kidney disease, when the kidneys stop working well enough for one to survive without dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Research from the Singapore Chinese Health Study followed 63,257 Chinese adults, aged 45-74 for an average of 15.5 years. During the study, 951 cases of ESRD showed a strong association with those who ate a high amount of red meat and ESRD. They found no association consuming of fish, poultry, eggs, or dairy products. Beans and soy were found to be somewhat protecting.
Researcher Woon-PuayKoh examined the data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, linking the data with the Singapore Renal Registry holding the records of all Singapore ESRD patients. Their goal was to find the role of different protein sources on ESRD outcomes.
“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; however, if they still choose to eat meat, fish/shellfish and poultry are better alternatives to red meat.”said Dr.Koh.
The researchers found that risk of kidney failure can be lessened when red meat is replaced with other proteins like fish and poultry. The study found that even one serving of red meat substituted with another protein showed a 62 percent reduction in developing ESRD.
“It is best to eat red meat in moderation. For example, instead of eating red meat for every meal or daily, it is advisable to replace it with other meat such as poultry and fish, or plant-based protein such as soya and legumes for alternate meals or days,” said Dr. Koh.
We need our kidneys!
Kidneys play such a vital role in the body that we are given two. We will not survive if both kidneys fail.
- Kidneys remove the waste from our body (drugs, urea, ammonia and other toxic substances). Build up of waste can be very damaging to the body.
- They remove excess water from the body.
- Kidneys help control blood pressure.
- Help make red blood cells and maintain the body’s calcium levels.
What happens for those at risk of ESRD is that the kidneys slowly stop working over 10 to 20 years. To learn more about the symptoms of ESRD, go to The National Library of Medicine.
Should we be concerned about kidney failure? See these facts:
- 10 percent of the people in the world get chronic kidney disease; millions die every year.
- 26 million American adults have kidney disease and most don’t know it.
- Chronic kidney disease is on the rise, growing by approximately 8 percent each year, according to the World Health Organization.
- More than 2 million people in the world receive treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant yearly.
- Diabetes (type 2) and high blood pressure are the two leading causes of kidney disease. Aging and hypertension are next on the list.
A healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet and working with your doctor will help keep your kidneys healthy.