Science Catch-up. Red Meat And Gut Inflammation: Harvard Study

by The Health Sciences Academy — Get free science updates here.

Welcome to our Thursday’s Science Catch-up: curated links by The Health Sciences Academy. Get our email updates every other Thursday here (it’s free).

Let’s catch you up with studies and news that recently made the headlines!

Click on your favourite topics to read our summary:

1. Red meat and gut inflammation: Harvard study

2. Lack of cooking confidence drives ready-meal buying

3. Every meal triggers inflammation

4. Warning: Obese parents triple obesity risk in children

5. Losing fat releases toxins but reduces oxidative stress

Red meat and gut inflammation: Harvard study

Study link

Red meat intake and gut inflammation_The Health Sciences Academy_Alejandra Alex Ruani

Red meat intake and gut inflammation. Statistical significance (Chan et al., 2017)

According this new Harvard study involving 46,500 participants, eating high amounts of red meat daily might be a risk factor for gut inflammation and the development of diverticulitis.

For each daily serving, the risk went up by 18%.

However, replacing a daily portion of red meat with fish or poultry lowered this inflammation risk by 20%.

Fibre, on the other hand, was highlighted as being anti-inflammatory. Eating high-fibre foods, such as vegetables, lowers the chance of diverticulitis.

This shows, once again, that it’s the compounded effect of your overall diet which tips the risk scales one way or another.

Note: The red meat controversy keeps going around, in particular when it comes to cancer risk. If this is a topic you’d like clarification on, from a biological perspective, see Does Red Meat Cause Cancer? (optional resource).

Lack of cooking confidence drives ready-meal buying

Study link

Are you a frequent buyer of ready meals? If so, what’s your main reason for buying them?

Well, it appears that the answer is a lot more complicated than “I don’t have time”.

According to this interesting research, our lack of self-confidence in preparing a nutritious meal seems to be the main driver of ready-meal and pre-packaged processed foods purchases.

This shortage of self-efficacy underlies other reasons, such as low cost, preparation speed, or catering for diverse family tastes.

The ready-meal market is huge, valued at about EUR 40 Billion in Europe. And it continues to grow…

On the positive side, more and more healthier ready-meal options are coming to market. This is a sector that many of our students and graduates are making a positive difference in. I love health-conscious start-ups like these, and they tend to be quite successful.

Reasons for buying ready meals_The Health Sciences Academy

Reasons for buying ready meals (Horning et al., 2017)

Every meal triggers inflammation

Study link

Every meal triggers inflammation_The Health Sciences Academy

Every meal triggers inflammation (Dror et al., 2017)

Speaking of meals…

No matter how healthily you eat, every meal seems to trigger inflammation.

Some meals more than others. Some less.

Even if your meal is immaculately planned, it will always set off your immune response.

This is because, when we eat, we don’t just take in nutrients. We also take in a lot of bacteria!

At the same time of digestion, the body has to fight these bacteria. And that’s when the inflammatory response kicks in.

Actually, that’s good. We want a little bit of that. Most healthy individuals have this protective effect working to their advantage.

However, in overweight and diabetic individuals, this pro-inflammatory response seems to be exacerbated.

Warning: Obese parents triple obesity risk in children

Project link

There are very serious dangers from parental obesity, and not just to themselves, but their children too!

A project involving 36 international research groups, called EarlyNutrition, highlights that parental obesity during pregnancy and during a child’s early years will typically triple their own obesity risk later in life.

As a result, the project consortium recommends that:

  • Both mother and father should achieve a healthy weight prior to conception
  • Parents should eat healthily during the child’s early years, which can help reduce their obesity risk
  • Pregnant women should not “eat for two”
  • Breast-feeding mothers should eat healthily, given that some nutrients in the maternal diet have a direct impact on breast-milk composition

In this graph they summarise other effects of a mom’s diet on her breast milk:

EarlyNutrition Project_nutrients in maternal diet impact milk composition

Nutrients in maternal diet impact breast-milk composition (EarlyNutrition Project, 2017)

Losing fat releases toxins but reduces oxidative stress

Study link

PCB concentration following weight loss_The Health Sciences Academy

Total PCB concentration following weight loss (Arciero et al., 2017)

This study conducted by exercise scientists looked at the toxins released from fat tissue during weight loss.

Some of these toxins include PCBs (plastics) and other harmful substances being released into the blood.

One of the many concerns for dieters is the negative effects of those old toxins flooding the body.

However, the scientists found that the body compensates for such effects by increasing the release of antioxidants, which in turn reduces overall oxidative stress.

This means that if your body’s antioxidant mechanisms are working as they should, with all the nutrients needed to manufacture those antioxidants, weight loss might favourably impact your natural detoxification process.

Note: There’s a lot of good science on toxicology and detoxification in our Detox Specialist course, a must-have certification for every nutrition professional in my opinion. You can take a look at the course curriculum here.

Science Reports:

Available upon individual purchase. Learn more here!

Does Red Meat Cause Cancer?

How to Heal Your Gut - Part 3

Fasting and Training: Good or Bad?

If you want to get the latest science and our tips, make sure you sign up to our Thursday emails HERE.

The-Health-Sciences-Academy-Alejandra-Ruani-small1-right Alex Ruani, Doctoral Researcher, is the Chief Science Educator at The Health Sciences Academy, where her team of accomplished scientists and PhDs are training a new breed of over 100,000 highly-specialised nutrition professionals who are leveraging the latest personalisation strategies to help their clients. She is a Harvard-trained scientist and UCL Doctoral Researcher who is fanatical about equipping health professionals with the latest science-based tools so they can succeed in their practices – from identifying the unique nutrient needs to building highly personalised nutrition programs. Besides investigating and teaching the latest advances in health and nutrition biochemistry, Alex makes it easier to be smarter with her free email updates.

Did you enjoy this? Sign up to receive our FREE email updates!

See Also

Continuing Education Bundle

Free Academic Tour

Exclusive Webinar

[CPD Certified Webinar] Child and Family Nutrition Strategies for Your Practice

“How do I know if my child is getting all the right nutrients for proper growth?”

 “Should I worry about feeding my kids the wrong foods for learning and mood control?”

“Our family dinner is a tantrum-loaded warzone… is picky eating solvable at all?”

Speech challenges, learning delays, stunted growth, irrational tantrums, short-fused aggression, hyperactivity, a lack of attention… they can all have a dietary element underneath.

What a little boy or little girl eats can deeply affect their mood, memory, and brain development – with long-lasting consequences carried into adulthood.

So how does diet shape a growing child? And in what ways may you help parents, caretakers, and teachers with the nutrition of little ones?

Completing this CPD-certified training will equip you with vital knowledge underpinning how food can impact your client’s child neurologically, emotionally, and intellectually – alongside insights about adequately running child nutrition programs to best support little boys and girls with their developmental needs.

Here’s what you will discover in this CPD Certified Webinar:

  • Why nutrition and health practitioners should gain a deep insight into child nutrition science when working with parents, caretakers, and teachers
  • Importance of custom-building child nutrition plans considering gender, age, height, weight, and other calculations
  • How adding child nutrition programs to your practice can help clients with the developmental needs of their little ones
  • Advantages of becoming an Advanced Child and Brain Development Nutritional Advisor™ and integrating child nutrition into your work with our Level 5 Certification
  • Personalisation methods and planning tools to use when running your own child nutrition programs to support parents, caretakers, sports clubs, and schools

Remember you have the option of claiming your smart CPD certificate when you complete this webinar!

Register Now

© Copyright

Everything on this site is original content, created and owned by or through The Health Sciences Academy ® or licensed accordingly.
© Copyright The Health Sciences Academy. The content, graphs and charts on this page have been exclusively prepared for The Health Sciences Academy and its prospect students, existing students and graduates. None of the content on this page and website may be reproduced, copied or altered without our explicit permission. Criminal and legal penalties for copyright and other infringement apply. All Terms and Conditions apply.
The Health Sciences Academy is the world’s largest, 100% science-based, online educational institution.
✔ helping health professionals build their expertise in specialised areas
✔ raising industry standards througah personalised nutrition and practical science.
© Copyright The Health Sciences Academy. The content, graphs and charts on this page have been exclusively prepared for The Health Sciences Academy and its prospect students, existing students and graduates. None of the content on this page and website may be reproduced, copied or altered without our explicit permission. Criminal and legal penalties for copyright and other infringement apply. All Terms and Conditions apply.


Free Courses



About Us

© 2022 The Health Sciences Academy ® All Rights Reserved.

Send this to a friend