Red Meat Pinned to Blindness in Old Age

Sorry cows, a new study in the American Journal of Epidemiology links higher risk of age-related macular degeneration, i.e. blindness, with heavy consumption of red meat. Australian researchers recruited 6,734 people, ages 58 to 69, living in Melbourne, surveying them about how much meat they ate, and then taking macular photographs of their retinas to evaluate eye health. Findings revealed participants eating red meat 10 times a week were 47% more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration than those eating less red meat; Medical News Today reports.

Red meat is vile. In November a report found harmful bacteria, called Subtilase cytotoxin gravitates to red meat and dairy products. Then just last week, consuming large amounts of red and processed meat was associated with higher risk of cancer and cardiovascular mortality and beyond that, eating red meat has been linked to metabolic syndrome, a known predictor of heart disease.

In related news, previous research shows antioxidants from foods, such as spinach, kale and collard greens promote eye health and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Image credit: moonpie dig it

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Comments (7) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Monty - March 30, 2009 10:55 AM

It's back to the old situation. The only need for red meat is for primitive societies in cold climates to hunt in order to survive the winter.

James - March 30, 2009 3:13 PM

"....compared to those who ate it less than 5 times a week, people who ate red meat 10 times a week were nearly 50 per cent more likely to develop AMD in old age."

This shows, just like most of the studies about red meat which Gerry has blogged about in the past, that as long as you eat red meat in moderation, you can still maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you're stupid enough to eat red meat 10 times per week, then you get what you deserve (although I find it peculiar that the study was even able to find over 6700 people between the ages of 58 to 69 who ate red meat 10 times per week; logic dictated by Dr. F and Diseaseproof would seem to indicate that these people should have died years ago with this diet habit, yet they haven't).

Eating habits alone do not make a person or a society primitive; for example, the statement Monty made was overgeneralized, intolerant, and could also be construed as primitive.

Kirsten - March 30, 2009 7:28 PM

James, I would agree that moderation is pretty central, but about the 58 to 69 year olds being alive still as counter to Fuhrman's logic I would ask how healthy they are or if they are a group of folks who are facing multiple medications for ailments. Poor diet may shorten our lives, but it will surely take the life out of our years.

Steve - March 30, 2009 7:52 PM

Hi Gerry
I disagree with James on the interpretation here.

If 5 servings is better than 10, that does not make 5 servings ideal. The question remains, is 3 servings better than 5, is 1 serving better than 3, perhaps one serving per month is ideal.

Also (this should be obvious), there is a bell curve of life expectancy. Eating a lot of red meat will not make you drop off at exactly 65 years or something like that. Nutritarians will continue to die young, and cigar smoking whiskey drinkers will continue to make it to 100. The point is to up your own personal odds, to make you more likely to live longer, and also, without AMD or cancer or heart disease or dementia and so on.

Regards, Steve

Sara - March 30, 2009 7:57 PM

No need to be insulting, James. Primitive societies means just that. They live in cold climates with no source of food but what they can hunt or gather. Are there any of those left? This blog is dedicated to Dr. Fuhrman's teachings. It is not any open forum for people to promote diets that we find to be unhealthy. There are plenty places for that. You,james , are a heckler.Some of us are not fooled.

McBloggenstein - March 30, 2009 8:08 PM

Well, James, you seem to be clinging to your beef pretty tightly. Don't worry, no one here is going to take it away from you. If you want it, go right ahead. If you want to ignore the countless studies that show a strong association between red meat and health problems, then that's your decision.

My point is, there's no need to bash a study, nor a blogger for their interpretations of the data. The purpose here is only to promote better health, not to destroy other people's right to eat whatever they want. If you would like to provide your evidence for why eating red meat is in no way detrimental to your health, then I'm sure Gerry and "Dr. F" would like to see it.

Until then, remember that "moderation" is a relative term, and the only reason why anyone would claim that something they enjoy eating (even though it has been shown to be detrimental in excessive amounts) is "OK" as long as they consume it "in moderation", is because they are trying to justify continuing to do what they want to do.

James - March 30, 2009 11:28 PM

OK guys,

You have completely misconstrued my comments. I am not here to promote the consumption (and most certainly not excessive consumption) of red meat or to "bash" any studies. My point was simply that if one chooses to consume red meat, they can do so in a responsible, healthful manner, as the vast majority of these countless studies (which are wide open to interpretation) indicate.

And as for me "clinging to my beef tightly," you are incorrect, sir. For the past 6 months or so since I've come across this site, I have limited my consumption of red meat to about once per month in the form of filet mignon (I would hardly describe this as "clinging tightly"). In my opinion, this is should be quite reasonable even to all the hardcore Eat-to-Liver's out there.

My comment about the 58 to 69 year old's was meant as a tongue-in-cheek joke, not an attack on Dr. Fuhrman's system. As Gerry would say...."lighten up!"

I am many things, but a heckler isn't one of them. If my differing opinions/viewpoints/interpretations are not welcome here, if there is no room for open, intelligent discussions here, please say so

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