Iron in red meat linked to diabetes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Red blood cell, Blood, Diabetes

Iron intake from red meat may be associated with the risk of type 2
diabetes, new research suggests. The finding comes in the wake of
new figures demonstrating the huge popularity of high-protein,
low-carbohydrate diets.

The new study, published in this month's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition​, points to a link between excessive body levels of heme-iron, a type of iron found in red blood cells - and the development of diabetes.

Dr Rui Jiang, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston investigated the link between iron intake and type-2 diabetes in 38,394 men between the ages of 40 and 75 years who participated in the Health Professionals' Follow-up Study.

During the 12-year study period, one in 33 of the men - previously free of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer - developed the disease.

"Heme-iron intake from red meat appears to be associated with an increase risk of type 2 diabetes, but our study was unable to determine whether this association was due to heme iron per se or to other components of red meat,"​ note the authors.

The total of heme-iron intake from non-red meat sources and blood transfusions was not associated with diabetes risk.

"Further cohort studies are needed to examine iron intake and direct measures of body iron stores in relation to the risk of diabetes,"​ said Jiang.

Yesterday we reported on new figures released from the Valen Group, showing that 59 million Americans are currently controlling their intake of carbohydrates. If the new study findings are confirmed, it may impact some of this popularity.

Related topics: Research, Minerals

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