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Red meat linked to diabetes?

18 June 2013

Consuming greater amounts of red meat can increase the chances of developing diabetes according to new research by a team from the National University of Singapore.

Three studies were conducted involving around 150,000 people, who were asked to complete a series of questionnaires.

The scientists say the results show that raising consumption by more than half a serving a day was associated with a 48% increase in risk over the next four years. Lowering red meat consumption by the same amount was said to have led to a 14% reduction in risk.

The researchers recorded more than 7500 cases of type 2 diabetes.

"Increasing red meat intake during a four year interval was associated with an elevated risk of T2DM (type 2 diabetes mellitus) during the subsequent four years," the authors, led by Dr An Pan, from the National University of Singapore, wrote in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

"Our results confirm the robustness of the association between red meat and T2DM and add further evidence that limiting red meat consumption over time confers benefits for T2DM prevention."

Commenting on the research in the journal, US expert Dr William Evans, from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, wrote: "A recommendation to consume less red meat may help to reduce the epidemic of T2DM.

"However, the overwhelming preponderance of molecular, cellular, clinical and epidemiological evidence suggests that public health messages should be directed toward the consumption of high-quality protein that is low in total and saturated fats.

"These public health recommendations should include cuts of red meat that are also low in fat, along with fish, poultry and low-fat dairy products. It is not the type of protein (or meat) that is the problem: it is the type of fat." 



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