Kidneys Affected By Uncooked Meat With Additives
Uncooked meat products containing food additives can contain high levels of phosphorus and potassium that find no place in food labels. This can make it difficult for people to limit these minerals that at high levels are harmful to kidney disease patients.
Dialysis patients must watch their intake of phosphate so that their blood phosphate levels do not go up, which can then lead to premature death. Kidney disease patients also must limit their intake of potassium, because high blood potassium levels can cause sudden death.
One growing source of dietary phosphorus and potassium is through "enhanced" fresh meat and poultry products. These foods are injected with a solution of water with sodium and potassium salts (particularly phosphates) as well as anti-oxidants and flavourings.
While ingesting phosphates and potassium can be dangerous for dialysis patients, there is no requirement that these ingredients be included in nutrition labels.
There have also been no studies on the levels of phosphates and potassium contained in fresh meat and poultry products that have been "enhanced."
Richard Sherman and Ojas Mehta, from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, examined potassium and phosphate content in a variety of "enhanced" and additive-free meat and poultry products available in local supermarkets.
They found that products that were labelled as "enhanced" had an average phosphate concentration that was 28% higher than additive-free products, with some products almost 100% higher.
"The burden imposed on those seeking to limit dietary phosphorus and potassium could be ameliorated by more complete food labelling by manufacturers," the authors wrote.
The study will appear in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).