Eating red meat can boost the risk of developing deadly liver disease, a study suggests.
Israeli scientists have found the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is highest for those who enjoy their steak ‘well done’.
The disease, referred to as ‘human foie gras’, can lead to cirrhosis, which can in turn trigger liver cancer or cause the organ to fail.
Evidence already links consumption of meat to cancer, heart disease and diabetes – but scientific trials are scarce on its links to NAFLD.
The new study, which also confirmed eating red meat leads to a higher risk of diabetes, shines a light on the possible cause of the chronic liver disease.
Some 789 adults were quizzed about their eating and cooking habits. They also underwent liver ultrasound scans and tests for insulin resistance.
People who ate more processed and red meat were 47 per cent more likely to have liver disease, the University of Haifa experts found.
While they were 55 per cent more likely to have insulin resistance, the researchers reported in the Journal of Hepatology.
Cooking meat at high temperatures for longer periods of time, or until it’s well done, was also associated with a higher risk of both.
This was in comparison to those who preferred to eat more ‘rare’ meat, or cooked for less time, the researchers noted.
Lead author Shira Zelber-Sagi said: “Evidence is mounting with regard to the harmful effect of over-consumption of red and processed meat.”
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