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New Study Shows That Meat Consumption can Lead to Liver Disease

A new study shows that meat consumption can lead to liver disease, as shared on Science Daily. In recent months, the negative effects of meat contributing to health problems have taken the limelight. Excessive meat consumption has been linked to diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer, and this new study adds to the list of growing concerns of the effects of an animal based diet.

The study highlights: “World meat consumption has increased during the last decades, and evidence is mounting that high consumption of red and mainly processed meat is unhealthy to humans and is related to chronic diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. A new study published in the Journal of Hepatology adds non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to the list.”

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Lead investigator of the study Professor Shira Zelber-Sagi said: “Unhealthy Western lifestyle plays a major role in the development and progression of NAFLD, namely, lack of physical activity and high consumption of fructose and saturated fat. Our study looked at other common foods in the Western diet, namely red and processed meats, to determine whether they increase the risk for NAFLD.”

The study used a group of participants aged between 40-70 years old in order to test the association of the type of meat and the cooking method with NAFLD and insulin resistance. The results varied across the group dependant on their age, lifestyle and cooking method of the meat, however; “The results showed that high consumption of red and processed meat is independently associated with NAFLD and insulin resistance regardless of saturated fat and cholesterol intake and other risk factors such as BMI.

“In addition, individuals who consumed large quantities of meat cooked using unhealthy methods and those already diagnosed with NAFLD who consumed high HCAs (heterocyclic amines, which are pro-inflammatory compounds) had a higher chance of having insulin resistance.” Insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance was named as one of the key factors in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, along with inflammation.

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