February 27, 2012
I have had many requests to revisit this topic.
Meat! Grass fed/naturally fed versus grain fed and unnaturally fed cows.
The answer to this question exists. In the British J Nutrition in September 2010, Dr. Gary Egger published his data on the Differences in postprandial inflammatory responses to a 'modern' v. traditional meat meal: a preliminary study.
In 10 human subjects he compared the bodies immune inflammatory response after eating 100 grams of kangaroo meat versus Wagyu beef. Kangaroo is a surrogate marker of a historical naturally fed meat while the Wagyu beef is an unnaturally grain fed animal.
The results showed an immune inflammatory response 1 hour after eating the Wagyu beef but not after the kangaroo.
What does this mean for you? In simple terms, we are learning that when we mess with a natural food source we suffer the consequences of that choice. Our bodies are perceiving the grain fed meat to be abnormal from the immune system's perspective and reacting with inflammation. If you eat grain fed meat frequently, then you are more likely to develop a low level chronic inflammation. Depending on your genetic risks, this will worsen an inflammatory illness like coronary artery disease, arthritis, Alzheimer's, etc...
In Dr. Egger's words:
"kangaroo mimics the kind of wild meat that humans ate for thousands of years," explains Dr Gary Egger. "It's meat from lean animals that run around and eat grass. Wagyu on the other hand is relatively new to the food supply and an example of modern meat from modern animals that are less active and often fed on grain."
Over the last 100 years, human immune systems have become increasingly over reactive to the environment. This over reaction is causing low level inflammation on a chronic scale. Historically, our systems are hard wired to acutely inflame to handle an infection or injury and then relax. Humans have not had historical experience with chronic stress and inflammation until the recent past.
This meat data is an example of another source of chronic stress to the immune system and the body.
My take home point today: Eat local, hormone free, grass fed meat!
In moderation and with a smile,