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Too much red meat in diet can increase your body’s biological age

A diet containing too much red meat and not enough fruits and vegetables could increase your body's 'biological age'.

By: PTI | London | Updated: April 30, 2016 12:54:46 pm
 diet, red meat, fruits and vegetables, aging, health A diet containing too much red meat could lead to health problems, according to the latest research. (Photo: Thinkstock)

A diet containing too much red meat and not enough fruits and vegetables could increase your body’s ‘biological age’ and lead to health problems, according to the latest research.

Research led by the University of Glasgow and published today in Aging, has found that a moderate increase in serum phosphate levels caused by red meat consumption, combined with a poor overall diet, increases biological age (miles on the clock) in contrast to chronological age (years of age).

The study, which looked at participants from the most deprived to the least deprived in the NHS Greater Glasgow Health Board area, also demonstrates that deprived males were the worst affected.

Data from the study suggests that accelerated biological ageing, and dietary derived phosphate levels among the most deprived males, were directly related to the frequency of red meat consumption.

Researchers believe that excess red meat particularly affects this group because of their poor diet and “sub-optimal fruit and vegetable intake”.

The research, led by the Institute of Cancer Sciences in collaboration with the Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden), also found that high phosphate levels in deprived males correlated with reduced kidney function and even underlying mild to moderate chronic kidney disease.

“The data in this study provides evidence for a mechanistic link between high intake of phosphate and age-related morbidities tied to socio-economic status,” Professor Paul Shiels said.

“Our observations indicate that elevated red meat consumption has adverse effects amongst deprived males, who already have a poor diet and eat less fruit and vegetables than recommended. We think in this group the effects of high serum phosphate intake may be exacerbated,” he added.

Indeed it’s notable that these effects are not apparent among less deprived males, or in females, especially in the context of a more balanced diet.

“Phosphate is naturally present in basic foodstuffs, including meats, fish, eggs, dairy products and vegetables.

Intestinal absorption of naturally occurring phosphate is minimally regulated, as absorption is efficient, hence high supplementation results in markedly elevated levels of serum phosphate, which can have adverse health consequences.

This research has taken place as a part of the psychological, social, and biological determinants of ill health (pSoBid) study cohort, originally funded by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health.

The study, ‘Accelerated Ageing and Renal Dysfunction Links Lower Socioeconomic Status and Dietary Phosphate Intake’ is published in Aging.

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