The last decade has seen epidemiological evidence of a positive association between high consumption of red meat and processed meat and the risk of developing a range of chronic diseases, such as colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Oxidative stress is potentially involved in this association; however, oxidative stress is likely limited if red meat and processed meat are consumed in moderation, and combined with high intake of fruits and vegetables and low intake of refined sugars. In addition, it appears that some subgroups of the population are more prone to developing oxidative stress-related diseases as a consequence of high red and processed meat consumption. For example, the gastric juice in the inflamed stomach of individuals infected with Helicobacter pylori may be an excellent site for enhanced oxidation following meat consumption. Similarly, patients with inflammatory bowel disease may be at increased risk. Oxidative stress resulting from red or processed meat consumption may mediate the onset and/or progression of a wide range of diseases through various mechanisms, which are discussed in this review.
© 2017 Institute of Food Technologists®.