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Kidney Disease



In the U.S., chronic kidney disease (CKD) causes more deaths than breast or prostate cancer. It  affects 1 in 7 adults, approximately 37 million Americans. Several studies have linked a high consumption of red meat—particularly processed red meat—to increased CKD risk.


A study involving participants of the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study found that those who had a high red meat consumption had a 73% increased odds of CKD. Those who had a high consumption of processed red meat had a 99% increased odds of CKD. The study also found that substituting 1 serving of red meat and processed red meat with 1 serving of other dietary protein, such as nuts, whole grains, and legumes, was associated with a lower risk of CKD.


Another study published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggested that high red meat intake is a more important determinant of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) risk than overall protein intake. The study also suggested that substituting red meat intake with plant-sourced protein can reduce ESRD risk.


Red meat is also harmful to the kidneys because it is known to contain high amounts of purines, which can increase the level of uric acid in the blood, potentially leading to gout or kidney stones. 


Furthermore, red meat has high amounts of saturated fat, sodium, cholesterol, iron, and salt, as well as an excessive acid load. This elevates the production of uremic toxins by the gut microbiota. These toxins are associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular mortality resulting from CKD and can damage kidneys over time.




The sources for the information on this page can be found here.

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