Home Health News Study Finds Cutting Back on Red Meat Has Little Impact on Health – SciTechDaily

Study Finds Cutting Back on Red Meat Has Little Impact on Health – SciTechDaily

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Major Canadian-led study finds there’s no need to cut down red and processed meat consumption.

Most people can continue to eat red and processed meat as they do now.

A panel of international scientists led by researchers at Dalhousie and McMaster universities systematically reviewed the evidence and have recommended that most adults should continue to eat their current levels of red and processed meat.

The researchers performed four systematic reviews focused on randomized controlled trials and observational studies looking at the impact of red meat and processed meat consumption on cardiometabolic and cancer outcomes.

Bradley Johnston, Dalhousie University

This is Bradley Johnston, PhD, corresponding author on the reviews and guidelines and an associate professor of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University. Credit: Dalhousie University

In one review of 12 trials with 54,000 people, the researchers did not find statistically significant or an important association between meat consumption and the risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

In three systematic reviews of cohort studies following millions of people, a very small reduction in risk among those who had three fewer servings of red or processed meat a week, but the association was uncertain.

The authors also did a fifth systematic review looking at people’s attitudes and health-related values around eating red and processed meats. They found people eat meat because they see it as healthy, they like the taste and they are reluctant to change their diet.

Bradley Johnston, PhD, corresponding author on the reviews and guideline and an associate professor of community health and epidemiology at Dalhousie University, said the research team realizes its work is contrary to many current nutritional guidelines.

“This is not just another study on red and processed meat, but a series of high quality systematic reviews resulting in recommendations we think are far more transparent, robust and reliable,” he said.

Johnston added: “We focused exclusively on health outcomes, and did not consider animal welfare or environmental concerns when making our recommendations.

Gordon Guyatt, McMaster University

This is Dr. Gordon Guyatt, chair of the guideline committee and a professor at McMaster University. Credit: McMaster University

“We are however sympathetic to animal welfare and environmental concerns with a number of the guideline panel members having eliminated or reduced their personal red and processed meat intake for these reasons.”

The five systematic reviews, a recommendation and an editorial on the topic were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine yesterday, October 1, 2019.

The accompanying editorial by authors at the Indiana University School of Medicine said: “This is sure to be controversial, but is based on the most comprehensive review of the evidence to date. Because that review is inclusive, those who seek to dispute it will be hard-pressed to find appropriate evidence with which to build an argument.”

Gordon Guyatt, chair of the guideline committee and a professor at McMaster, said the research group with a panel of 14 members from seven countries used a rigorous systematic review methodology, and GRADE methods which rate the certainty of evidence for each outcome, to move from evidence to dietary recommendations to develop their guidelines.

“There is a worldwide interest in nutrition, and the issue of red meat in particular. People need to be able to make decisions about their own diet based on the best information available,” he said.

Other researchers involved in the work included those from the Netherlands, Poland and Spain, and the guideline committee included lay people as well as the scientists. There were no primary external funding sources.

References:

“Unprocessed Red Meat and Processed Meat Consumption: Dietary Guideline Recommendations From the Nutritional Recommendations (NutriRECS) Consortium” by Bradley C. Johnston, PhD; Dena Zeraatkar, MSc; Mi Ah Han, PhD; Robin W.M. Vernooij, PhD; Claudia Valli, MSc; Regina El Dib, PhD; Catherine Marshall; Patrick J. Stover, PhD; Susan Fairweather-Taitt, PhD; Grzegorz Wójcik, PhD; Faiz Bhatia, PEng; Russell de Souza, ScD; Carlos Brotons, MD, PhD; Joerg J. Meerpohl, MD; Chirag J. Patel, PhD; Benjamin Djulbegovic, MD, PhD; Pablo Alonso-Coello, MD, PhD; Malgorzata M. Bala, MD, PhD; Gordon H. Guyatt, MD, October 1, Annals of Internal Medicine.
DOI: 10.7326/M19-1621

“Patterns of Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk for Cardiometabolic and Cancer Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cohort Studies” by Robin W.M. Vernooij, PhD; Dena Zeraatkar, MSc; Mi Ah Han, MD, PhD; Regina El Dib, PhD; Max Zworth, BA⪼ Kirolos Milio, BSc; Daegan Sit, MD; Yung Lee, BHSc; Huda Gomaa, MSc; Claudia Valli, MSc; Mateusz J. Swierz, MD; Yaping Chang, PhD; Steven E. Hanna, PhD; Paula M. Brauer, PhD, RD; John Sievenpiper, MD, PhD; Russell de Souza, RD, ScD; Pablo Alonso-Coello, MD, PhD; Malgorzata M. Bala, PhD; Gordon H. Guyatt, MD, MSc; Bradley C. Johnston, PhD, October 1, Annals of Internal Medicine.
DOI: 10.7326/M19-1583

“Effect of Lower Versus Higher Red Meat Intake on Cardiometabolic and Cancer Outcomes: A Systematic Review of Randomized Trials” by Dena Zeraatkar, MSc; Bradley C. Johnston, PhD; Jessica Bartoszko, HBSc; Kevin Cheung, MD; Malgorzata M. Bala, MD, PhD; Claudia Valli, MSc; Montserrat Rabassa, PhD; Deagan Sit, MD; Kirolos Milio, BSc; Behnam Sadeghirad, PharmD; Arnav Agarwal, MD; Adriana M. Zea, RD; Yung Lee, BHSc; Mi Ah Han, MD, PhD; Robin W.M. Vernooij, PhD; Pablo Alonso-Coello, MD, PhD; Gordon H. Guyatt, MD; Regina El Dib, PhD, October 1, Annals of Internal Medicine.
DOI: 10.7326/M19-0622

“Health-Related Values and Preferences Regarding Meat Consumption: A Mixed-Methods Systematic Review” by Claudia Valli, MSc; Montserrat Rabassa, PhD; Bradley C. Johnston, PhD; Ruben Kuijpers, MSc; Anna Prokop-Dorner, PhD; Joanna Zajac, PhD; Dawid Storman, MD; Monika Storman, MD; Malgorzata M. Bala, MD, PhD; Ivan Solà, MSc; Dena Zeraatkar, MSc; Mi Ah Han, MD, PhD; Robin W.M. Vernooij, PhD; Gordon H. Guyatt, MD; Pablo Alonso-Coello, MD, PhD; for the NutriRECS Working Group, October 1, Annals of Internal Medicine.
DOI: 10.7326/M19-1326

“Reduction of Red and Processed Meat Intake and Cancer Mortality and Incidence: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cohort Studies” by Mi Ah Han, MD, PhD; Dena Zeraatkar, MSc; Gordon H. Guyatt, MD; Robin W.M. Vernooij, PhD; Regina El Dib, PhD; Ying Zhang, PhD; Abdullah Algarni, MBBS; Gareth Leung, BHSc; Dawid Storman, MD; Claudia Valli, MSc; Montserrat Rabassa, PhD; Nadia Rehman, BDS; Michael K. Parvizian, BHSc; Max Zworth, BA; Jessica J. Bartoszko, HBSc; Luciane Cruz Lopes, PhD; Daegan Sit, MD; Malgorzata M. Bala, MD, PhD; Pablo Alonso-Coello, MD, PhD; Bradley C. Johnston, PhD, October 1, Annals of Internal Medicine.
DOI: 10.7326/M19-0699

“Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk for All-Cause Mortality and Cardiometabolic Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Cohort Studies” by Dena Zeraatkar, MSc; Mi Ah Han, MD, PhD; Gordon H. Guyatt, MD, MSc; Robin W.M. Vernooij, PhD; Regina El Dib, PhD; Kevin Cheung, MD, MSc; Kirolos Milio, BSc; Max Zworth, BASc; Jessica J. Bartoszko, HBSc; Claudia Valli, MSc; Montserrat Rabassa, PhD; Yung Lee, BHSc; Joanna Zajac, PhD; Anna Prokop-Dorner, PhD; Calvin Lo, BHSc; Malgorzata M. Bala, PhD; Pablo Alonso-Coello, MD, PhD; Steven E. Hanna, PhD; Bradley C. Johnston, PhD, October 1, Annals of Internal Medicine.
DOI: 10.7326/M19-0655

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