How grass-fed beef can help and why it outperforms bison, elk and chicken
In their study, the results of which were published in issue 31 of the journal Nutrition Research, K. Shane Broughton, Daniel C. Rule and Eldon Handrich did what scientists have been doing for decades now. They took mice (your usual carnivorous animal) and put them on one of those grain-based diets that was then enriched with "bad" red meat to make the animals sick. Well, ... while the design was in fact the same, the good news is that the intention was by way of exception not to show "prove" (as if mainstream dietary advice would be interested in "proof", anyway) how bad those nasty red meats are, but to evaluate whether the
[...] consumption of meat from range-fed bison vs range-fed and grain-finished cattle and grain-finished bison would lead to reductions in PGE-2 [prostaglandin E2] release without altering PGI-2 [prostacyclin] release after an infl ammatory stimulus in a mouse model.Or put simply, the scienists wanted to check whether there was any truth to the superiority of bison compared to the "bad" red meat, when it comes to balancing out the ratio of PGE-2 and PGI-2.
|Image 2: Bayer probably won't like it if everyone would start eating grass-fed beef. After all, that would probably reduce the sales of their COX-inhibitor Aspirin protect.|
|Figure 1: Fatty acid content of the diet (in g per 100g of the whole chow) - saturated, mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids (n3, n6), left; CLA content, right (data adapted from Broughton. 2011)|
|Figure 2: Modulatory effect of 2 weeks on prostaglandin expression of mice after two weeks on diets enriched with range-fed, or feedlot fed meat of different sources (data adapted from adapted from Broughton. 2011)|
[...] chicken is promoted for its health benefits, yet in our study, it was no better for possible prevention of PGE 2-associated immune pathophysiology. Furthermore, chicken would not be as beneficial as grain-fed beef and elk consumption in reducing thrombos is and stroke potential.So, while eating (commercially raised) chicken won't harm you, it will not help you steer your inflammatory response into either the PGE or the PGI direction. Broughton, Rule and Handrich are thusly right, when they conclude that
Based on results of the present study, consumption of any of the range-fed meat sources examined would be better at reducing the possibility of immune-related pathophysiologies than meat from grain-fed cattle. [...] Although range-fed beef and bison consumption would be equivalent for their immune-based role, consumption of range-fed beef would be better for the prevention of thrombosis and stroke.Now, isn't that surprising? Chicken not the best thing you can eat? The "healthy alternative to beef" that has been pimped in the mass media lately only on par with plain beef and superior as far as reduction in the risk of stroke and thrombosis are concerned?