Red Meat and Alcohol Risky for Bowels

Sep 16, 2004 10:04 AM EDT

According to a recent British study, eating a diet high in red meat and alcohol may triple the risk of a bowel disease relapse.

The study, published in the medical journal Gut, found that subjects who ate larger amounts of red meat and drank more than two units of alcohol per day were at risk.

Up to five times more likely

Researchers studied 183 men and women with ulcerative colitis. Those who ate over 100g of meat a day were three times more likely to relapse. The risks increased further for those eating red and processed meat, with patients five times as likely to suffer a relapse.

The researchers also found that patients who had a high intake of animal protein in general—meat, fish and eggs—tripled the risk. The same increased risk of relapse was seen for those who drank large amounts of alcohol.


1. H. Tilg, A. Kaser, “Diet and Relapsing Ulcerative Colitis: Take Off the Meat?” Gut, 2004; 53: 1399-1401.