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Meat and Human Health—Current Knowledge and Research Gaps

Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, DK-2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
Department of Food Science, Aarhus University, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
National Food Institute, Division of Food Technology, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Danish Meat Research Institute—DMRI Technological Institute, DK-2630 Taastrup, Denmark
Department of Food Science, University of Copenhagen, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark
IPROCAR, University of Extremadura, E-10004 Caceres, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Carlotta Giromini and Ian Givens
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1556;
Received: 8 June 2021 / Revised: 24 June 2021 / Accepted: 29 June 2021 / Published: 5 July 2021
Meat is highly nutritious and contributes with several essential nutrients which are difficult to obtain in the right amounts from other food sources. Industrially processed meat contains preservatives including salts, possibly exerting negative effects on health. During maturation, some processed meat products develop a specific microbiota, forming probiotic metabolites with physiological and biological effects yet unidentified, while the concentration of nutrients also increases. Meat is a source of saturated fatty acids, and current WHO nutrition recommendations advise limiting saturated fat to less than ten percent of total energy consumption. Recent meta-analyses of both observational and randomized controlled trials do not support any effect of saturated fat on cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The current evidence regarding the effect of meat consumption on health is potentially confounded, and there is a need for sufficiently powered high-quality trials assessing the health effects of meat consumption. Future studies should include biomarkers of meat intake, identify metabolic pathways and include detailed study of fermented and other processed meats and their potential of increasing nutrient availability and metabolic effects of compounds. View Full-Text
Keywords: fermented meat; processed meat; cancer; cardiovascular disease fermented meat; processed meat; cancer; cardiovascular disease
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MDPI and ACS Style

Geiker, N.R.W.; Bertram, H.C.; Mejborn, H.; Dragsted, L.O.; Kristensen, L.; Carrascal, J.R.; Bügel, S.; Astrup, A. Meat and Human Health—Current Knowledge and Research Gaps. Foods 2021, 10, 1556.

AMA Style

Geiker NRW, Bertram HC, Mejborn H, Dragsted LO, Kristensen L, Carrascal JR, Bügel S, Astrup A. Meat and Human Health—Current Knowledge and Research Gaps. Foods. 2021; 10(7):1556.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Geiker, Nina R.W., Hanne C. Bertram, Heddie Mejborn, Lars O. Dragsted, Lars Kristensen, Jorge R. Carrascal, Susanne Bügel, and Arne Astrup. 2021. "Meat and Human Health—Current Knowledge and Research Gaps" Foods 10, no. 7: 1556.

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