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Meat May Pose Danger to Some Patients

27 July 2009

US - Patients with kidney disease may be at risk from flavour-enhancing solutions injected into meats and poultry, according to mew research from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Fresh meat additives may not be listed on meat labels, making it difficult for kidney patients to limit intake of phosphorus and potassium, reports EmaxHealth. Elevated potassium levels are dangerous for kidney dialysis patients, and could lead to sudden death. High phosphorus levels could lead to premature death.

Richard Sherman, M.D., and Ojas Mehta, D.O. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School examined levels of flavour enhancers injected into meat and available at local supermarkets to determine potential dietary sources of potassium and phosphorus that could harm kidney patients.

Flavour-enhancing ingredients that could pose dangers for kidney patients are not required to be included on meat labels.

The physicians found that meats containing antioxidants and flavourings had 28 to 100 per cent more phosphorus than additive-free meats. Results for potassium varied but all of the additive free meats contained less than 387 mg of potassium per 100 grams of protein. Five of the 25 meat products with additives had at least 692 mg of potassium per 100 gm of protein, and as much 930 mg/100 gm. Twenty-five products were examined. Eight of the products did not have the ingredients on the label, posing hidden dangers for kidney patients who could experience elevated potassium and phosphorus levels from eating fresh meat with hidden flavour enhancers.

The authors say food manufacturers should provide more complete labeling to decrease the burden of hidden dangers for kidney patients. High levels of potassium and phosphorus injected into fresh meats could mean harm for kidney patients, reports EmaxHealth.

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