Red meat and diverticulitis
A new study published in the journal Gut links the consumption of red meat to an increased risk of developing diverticulitis. A team from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston set out to investigate dietary factors involved in diverticulitis. The study involved 46,500 men over a 26 year period.
Compared with the lowest levels of consumption, the highest level of red meat intake was associated with a 58% heightened risk of developing diverticulitis, with each daily serving associated with an 18% increased risk. However, risk peaked at 6 servings a week. The association was strongest for unprocessed meat.
Exactly how red meat might affect diverticulitis is not clear, higher red meat consumption has been linked to the presence of inflammatory chemicals C reactive protein and ferritin. It is possible that the type and diversity of the gut's microbiome may also play a role with red meat consumption altering the range of bacteria, affecting immune response and the integrity of the gut lining.