Analyzing data from over 2,600 men aged 42 to 60, researchers from the University of Eastern Finland determined that eating 200 grams of animal protein and more each day increases the risk of early death by 23 percent. The results of the study confirm those of numerous other investigations that have revealed the risks associated with meat.

Following a diet rich in animal protein is not good for your health and it increases the risk of premature death. The new confirmation comes from a study led by scientists from the Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. The scientists, coordinated by Professor Jyrki K. Virtanen, came to their conclusions after analyzing the data of 2,641 men between 42 and 60 of age involved in the KIHD study (Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study), contacted between 1984 and 1989 and followed in the following decades.

Unbalanced diet

 Virtanen and colleagues documented the eating habits of all participants – followed for an average follow-up period of twenty years – and associated the consumption of proteins with the risk of death, verified thanks to data from the "Statistics Finland" national registry. Crossing all the data, it emerged that men who ate more than 200 grams of animal protein per day (especially red meat) had 23 percent more risk of early death than those who ate less than 100 grams and had a diet more balanced, with vegetable protein intake. Scientists also found that diets richer in proteins in general (both animal and vegetable) were associated with a greater risk of death in men who had been diagnosed with various diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer . The scientists pointed out that these results should not be generalized, especially for the elderly population, in which the protein intake is very often lower than the recommended one.


 The results of the Finnish study, published in the authoritative scientific journal American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, come after those of numerous other investigations that have targeted the red meat, in particular the processed meat and sausages. Recently, in an article published in the British Medical Journal and conducted on the data of over 500 thousand people it emerged that the more meat you eat, the greater the risk of dying from various diseases, such as cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, liver and Alzheimer's disease.

Another research led by scientists from the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic showed that eating too much red meat causes our body to accumulate TMAO (trimethylamine N-oxide), a by-product of the bacterial digestion of carnitine, choline and lecithin which is able to catalyze the risk of serious cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack.