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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Study Finds Red Meat Increases Risk of Macular Degeneration

Written by Tena Moore

Macular Degeneration, also known as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), affects one in seven individuals over the age of 50. AMD causes a loss of central vision in the eye, leaving peripheral vision untouched.

However, a new study by Dr. Elaine Chong of Victoria’s Eye and Ear Hospital in Australia has found that those who eat red meat more than 10 times a week significantly increase their risk of developing the disease earlier in life.

The study included 6,734 Melbourne residents between the ages of 58 and 69 years, and found that those who ate a lot of red meat, especially salami and sausage, were more likely to suffer from AMD.

Macular degeneration is only the latest disease to be linked to diets high in red meat. Obesity, heart attack, stroke, cancer and osteoporosis are also thought to occur more frequently in those who eat a lot of red meat.

The Meat and Livestock Australia disputed the findings, pointing out that most people in Australia don’t even eat red meat 10 times per week, and also that red meat is high in zinc, a mineral that has been shown to protect against macular degeneration.

Still, it is likely that attacks on red meat will continue. A recent study in the United States found that those who regularly consumed barbecued red meat were at an increased risk of dying from heart failure or cancer.

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