Study under review: Effects of Total Red Meat Intake on Glycemic Control and Inflammatory Biomarkers: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
Red meat intake has been identified through observational studies as a potential risk factor for the development of cardiometabolic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, not all studies point toward red meat intake being an independent risk factor, with some studies showing there is minimal to no effect on cardiovascular disease or diabetes in the context of unprocessed red meat. Furthermore, there has been much speculation, but little evidence, as to precisely how red meat intake might increase the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Some of the proposed mechanisms by which red meat intake may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes is by causing inflammation and negatively affecting glycemic control. However, much of the evidence is observational and inconsistent. In view of the contradictory evidence from highly heterogeneous observational studies, a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials is important for examining the causal impact of red meat intake on glycemic control and inflammation. The present study was a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials examining the effect of total red meat consumption, including both processed and unprocessed red meat, on glycemic control and inflammation among people without diabetes or diagnosed cardiometabolic diseases.
Red meat intake has been identified as a risk factor for cardiometabolic diseases. One of the proposed mechanisms by which red meat may impart risk is by worsening glycemic control and increasing inflammation. The present study was a systematic review and meta-analysis and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials examining the effects of consuming at least 0.5 servings of red meat per day vs. less than 0.5 servings of red meat per day on biomarkers of glycemic control and inflammation in adults with no reported cardiometabolic disease.
Other Articles in Issue #80 (June 2021)
Mini: Phytonutrient supplements for cardiovascular disease markers
A recent umbrella review summarized the effects of plant-based supplements for cardiovascular disease markers. Be careful with directly comparing the numbers they report though!
Deeper Dive: A Mendelian randomization study sheds light on the effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids on heart disease
This study explored whether genes that bump specific PUFA blood levels led to heart disease and found some evidence for the possible benefits of EPA.
Deeper Dive: Can regular exercise and a good diet attenuate age-associated cognitive decline?
This large four-year trial found surprisingly little benefit from diet and exercise on brain health of older people. Here, we explore some possible reasons for this finding.
Lower fat intake, lower testosterone levels?
This meta-analysis found that swapping out fat for carbs can lower men's testosterone levels a tad. But the relationship's neither set in stone nor straightforward.
Interview: Elisabeth Bik, PhD
Microbiologist and scientific integrity consultant Elisabeth Bik discusses her background, the chilling effect of legal threats on scientific discourse, and more.
CBD and pain: mechanism, mind, or both?
This study explored whether CBD's analgesic effect comes from its impact on people's biology or psychology.
Meat in Mediterranean diets: helpful or hurtful for the heart?
How does adding increasing amounts of lean red meat to a Mediterranean diet affect lipids and lipoproteins? This study aimed to find out.