New study says eating red meat won't kill you: 'Not really impact anybody's life whatsoever'

A new report questions previous findings that had suggested red meat consumption will increased your risk of cancer, heart attack and early death.

Fred Bodimer
December 12, 2019 - 10:04 am

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — The health danger of eating red meat is back up for debate -- following new research from internal medicine specialists. 
The Annals of Internal Medicine journal recently published a systematic review of previous studies that had suggested red meat consumption increased your risk of cancer, heart attack and early death.  But this new review questioned those original findings.

Related: STUDY - No evidence eating red meat links to health problems

"How well were these previous studies done?  How rigorous was the research?" asked Dr. Fred Buckhold, a SLU Care general internist  at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  "They combined all that information to make a judgment about whether or not red meat worsens heart disease or worsens cancer or shortens your life and they found two main things.  First, they found the data out there is not very good and not very helpful.  Second, if there is an effect, it is so small as to not really impact anybody's life whatsoever."
 So what now?

"These internal medicine specialists made a set of recommendations that said red meat consumption might lead to an increased risk of death," Dr. Buckhold tells KMOX.  "But the word 'might' is very subjective.  Meaning the chances of this -- or the significance of this -- is so small and that everything that was done for the most part wasn't of incredible quality.  So that makes it hard to interpret anything."
Dr. Buckhold's advice to his patients?

"Life is moderation," he said.  "It's okay to have a steak now and then.  But if you are having a steak with butter and sour cream every single night of your life, there's probably going to be a consequence to that.  And this just kind of reinforces that point."
The assertions from the internal medicine specialists questioning the original findings have drawn rapid criticism from top nutrition scientists -- who have called for the paper to be retracted over what they call misrepresentations of the vast majority of scientific literature.  

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