Blood sugar and inflammation not raised by total Red meat intake, finds study
USA: The consumption of total red meat (TRM) for 16 weeks did not affect inflammation or blood sugar control in adults at risk for cardiometabolic disease, suggests a recent study in the journal Advances in Nutrition. The findings are significant are red meat intake is known to increase the risk of diabetes.
Earlier studies have shown that meat intake is associated with fasting blood sugar and insulin concentrations in people without diabetes mellitus.
Lauren E O'Connor, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD, USA, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis and systematic review to evaluate the effects of total Red meat intake on inflammatory and blood sugar biomarkers using RCTs of individual free from cardiometabolic disease.
The researchers hypothesized that higher intake of TRM would have a negative influence on blood sugar control and inflammation based on positive corelations between total Red meat and diabetes. The study included 24 eligible articles from 1172 articles searched from online databases up to August 2019 that included -- 1) data on fasting glucose, insulin, HOMA-IR, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), C-reactive protein (CRP), or cytokines 2) no diagnosed cardiometabolic disease 3) participants aged ≥19 years 4) included either men or women who were not pregnant/lactating 5) diet periods differing in total Red meat.
The researchers used 1) random-effects meta-analyses to compare pre to post changes between diet periods with ≥ vs. <0.5 servings (35g)/day of TRM; 2) a repeated-measures ANOVA to assess pre to post-diet period changes; and 3) meta-regression for dose-response relationships. Diet periods were grouped to explore heterogeneity sources, including risk of bias, using the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Quality Assessment of Controlled Interventions Studies.
Key findings of the study include:
- Glucose, insulin, and HOMA-IR values decreased, while HbA1c and CRP values did not change during TRM or alternative diet periods.
- There was no difference in change values between diet periods with ≥ vs. <0.5 servings/day of TRM [weighted mean differences: glucose, 0.040 mmol/L; insulin, −0.710 pmol/L; HOMA-IR, 0.110; CRP, 2.424 nmol/L] and no dose-response relationships.
- Risk of bias (85% of studies were fair to good) did not influence results.
"Total red meat consumption, for up to 16 weeks, does not affect changes in biomarkers of glycemic control or inflammation for adults free of, but at risk for, cardiometabolic disease," concluded the authors.
The key takeaway is red meat will not directly raise blood sugar as it is a source of protein and fats.
The study, "Effects of Total Red Meat Intake on Glycemic Control and Inflammatory Biomarkers: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials," is published in the journal Advances in Nutrition.