A recent study conducted by Purdue University is reporting that consuming red meat does not affect short-term cardiovascular disease risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
The study reviewed and analyzed 24 research articles meeting specific criteria that included the amount of red meat consumed by participants, cardiovascular disease risk factors, and the design of the studies.
Professor of Nutrition Science, Wayne Campbell, along with doctoral student Lauren O’Connor and post-doctoral researcher Jung Eun Kim, reviewed the clinical trials and resulting articles. They found that eating half a serving of red meat every day, or one 3 ounce serving three times a week, did not negatively affect blood pressure and total blood cholesterol over a short period of time. Professor Campbell asserted that there is a need for further analysis to fully understand the relationship between red meat and the risk of cardiovascular disease, as the experiments reviewed were conducted over a course of a few weeks or months as opposed to the years it may take for participants to develop cardiovascular disease or experience a cardiovascular event.
Campbell also stressed the importance of recognizing the limitations of this review, stating, “… our findings are specific to selected indicators for cardiovascular disease risk. Comparable research is needed to assess other health factors from clinical trials, including inflammation and blood glucose control.”
The fact that this study shows no direct correlation between the consumption of red meat and higher blood pressure over the course of a short period does not mean that no relationship exists. Campbell cautions against assuming red meat does not contribute to cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular events based on this review, and reiterates the need for more research before a full conclusion may be drawn on the subject.