I am wondering what is going on in their body, when someone says they, "can't eat red meat." Do they have a gut problem? Can it be addressed with digestive enzymes? I would think that since red meat is paleo, how can it be that people CANNOT EAT IT?
Can there actually be an allergy to it? Is there such a thing as "red meat allergy?"
Some people on here and in the conventional SAD world, say they get backed up, and blame it on the red meat.
How can they get their health or brain back to eating red meat, (preferably grass fed)?
My only guess is that they have digestive issues from years of eating grains, but I am not scientist, expert, or doctor.
Also, what is the "ANSWER" when someone says they can't eat red meat because they have gout.
asked byFanOfSunshine (2261)
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on February 18, 2011
at 07:36 PM
I can tell you that beef allergies are not unheard of. Here is a brief discussion of it, from which you can see that it is a relatively rare thing. But note that beef allergy is more common among those who have cow's milk allergies, which seems to make sense (see here).
This has made it into the paleosphere most prominently recently in two posts on the topic by Matt Metzgar (here and here), which have been noticed by Masterjohn and Jaminet already. In the second post Metzgar finds the study he was looking for (abstract), which claims that among Argentines with pre-existing skin conditions, asthma, or digestive conditions, 57% were allergic to beef. Brief extract:
After the exclusion period, subjects with skin and stomach problems were able to tolerate beef again. Subjects with asthma still were not able to. The authors believe that intestinal permeability was the factor that made beef allergenic.
So what's going on here? You would think beef should be normally tolerated. First, results are different country to country. For example, in Chinese subjects with eczema, there is a low prevalence of beef allergy. Yet in this same study it says:
"Specific IgE levels for beef correlated with all the other food-specific IgE levels."
Here's my educated guess: once intestinal permeability is created via other allergenic foods (wheat, milk, soy, etc.), then beef proteins become allergenic.
This seems to be right in line with what you proposed. Some other digestive damage has been done, which allows things to sneak into our system that usually can't. When the other damage is fixed, beef again becomes easily tolerated.
The other thing I would propose--although I haven't looked at the full study--is that there's something else nasty that gets onto the beef in Argentina during processing that people are allergic to. I don't know much about what happens to beef in Argentina (I have heard it's very tasty at least) but I'm sure you can imagine that being an issue here.
I would conclude though that intolerances and allergies are very individual things: some people even have a lot of trouble with sweet potatoes, for example. We shouldn't let the mere presence of allergies to staple foods distract us from the fact that they generally are infrequent. In most cases it was something else that did the damage first: wheat, soy, etc. But even when it wasn't, the point still holds. People will occasionally be allergic to things, that's just life.
on March 13, 2011
at 11:01 PM
Yeah, from what I know, here are at least some major possibilities:
Beef allergy, as someone already mentioned. This is actually one of the better-known food allergies. You wouldn't think so, but there it is.
Not making enough of the enzymes that would break it down. If you've gone years and years without eating red meat, you'll need to re-adjust to eating it. I've heard of the same thing happening with people who've avoided pork all their lives only to try it as adults, and it didn't agree with them at all. Also with vegetarians who've avoided animal protein. Depending on what your reaction is, if it's just your stomach not being happy and not an allergic reaction, you could try starting out with very small amounts and eating it along with an enzyme supplement or a fermented food. Certain marinades would also be helpful--the acidic ones break the meat down somewhat. If you like pineapple, I don't know how the juice would work for a beef marinade flavorwise, but it'll sure get the digestion started. I believe papaya has digestive enzymes in it also (papain, if I'm not mistaken, which is also available in supplemental tablet form) but the juice might be harder to find except maybe in ethnic food aisles or groceries.
And, something I don't see talked about a lot but Dr. Michael Eades mentions it in his book Protein Power: arachidonic acid. Some people are really sensitive to AA for whatever reason--fatty acids out of balance, maybe, or genetic variation--and eating beef causes them problems. If you react to other foods high in AA, this may be your problem with beef. It's worth digging around on Google to see if anybody's got any ideas on how to counteract this if you really want to be able to eat red meat again.
But here's the thing? You don't have to eat red meat to be Paleo. You can eat poultry or fish and do perfectly fine. You are just going to have to find other sources for your saturated fat intake, that's all. The simple fact is that in their indigenous state, uncontacted by European explorers or whatever, there have been many, many cultures worldwide that have never had contact with cows. They were still Paleo. So just think in terms of "would this have been available to relatively primitive people? Would they have recognized it as food?" and you should be OK. You probably want to also make sure you're getting your nutritional needs met, though, since we modern folks don't have intact food traditions anymore that help us eat healthy. But I'd say the same thing to someone who had beef three times a day.
on February 18, 2011
at 07:52 PM
Let's not lump beef together with factory-farmed beeflike substances. I could see an allergy to the latter not necessarily extending to the former.
on February 18, 2011
at 07:31 PM
My friend says she can't eat much red meat because it makes her constipated and she already has problems in that direction. I suspect that her system as basically adapted as best it can to what she normally eats, which is a bunch of processed crap and any change throws it off. She is of course not healthy at all but that is another story. I would suspect that if she were to cut out all the sugar and grain and slowly transition to more meat, then she would be fine with it. But what she does is eat a lot of grain and processed crap for weeks and weeks, and then occasionally let loose and pound down a large steak, and then she sometimes has problems later, especially if she eats more steak the next day. But I think saying her probs are due to red meat is a mistake. Her probs are due to a screwed up gut! What is good for the sick is not always what is good for the healthy.
I too am curious about the gout issue. Maybe once a metabolic system is highly damaged, it could be that it might no longer be able to suitably digest and process some things that are healthy for everyone else. I don't think red meat causes gout, but it does exacerbate it for some people. Just like I don't think baked potato causes diabetes, but once you already have diabetes, you better not be pounding down those baked potatoes willy nilly. My advice for gout suffers is eat all the healthy foods you can eat safely and cut out the garbage foods. Small amounts of meat evenly spaced are OK for many gout sufferers. And many can increase those amounts slowly as they lose weight and improve their health.
on March 14, 2011
at 05:47 AM
Haemochromatosis - iron overload.
on February 18, 2011
at 07:43 PM
I had this huge answer typed for you then we used the microwave and hairdryer at the same time and lights out! .
bottom line is, 8 years ago i determined that after colonoscopy and mri my guts looked fine but didnt operate well. after months of trial and error it came down to red meat causing my hot knot in my stomach that kept me awake or woke me up ...i had horrible constipation that lasted for weeks. it took all sorts of meds to get the you know what out of me and back on course...
IT WAS HORRIBLE and there have been mistakes along the way that reinforce not eating red meat. I ate a casserole that someone said had pork only and turns out it had both pork and red meat. that was a miserable 3 weeks! then about 4-6 months ago before paleo, i had dominoes pizza and apparently the new pepperoni has beef and pork in it...it wasnt as bad of a feeling, just a very warm uncomfortable feeling until i could get up and drink some water and make my stomach feel better but i still had constipation a bit..
long story short is Robb and others may be right, it could be immune system but I have only been on paleo for 31 days and had trouble with constipation the first 3 weeks and i am still not sure I am "regular" so I am not going to fool with my current menu.
unfortunatley there are people allergic to everything...there is someone that is allergic to water... yep, water...there is some underlying issue, i cant remember what they said but she is allergic none the less but i think it is a skin issue not internal.
on February 01, 2013
at 08:22 PM
it is very real. I suffer from not being able to eat red meat, anything with lactose, and nothing that is heavy, pretty much anything deep friend and covered in gravy. i may also have a gluten problem. trust me its not fun to be the person who can eat anything. you feel so rude having to have a special meal when eating with friends. its hard.
on December 21, 2012
at 07:57 PM
My son developed terrible constipation problems, including encoperesis, after a bout with Lyme disease. He also dropped a lot of weight, and has major malabsorption issues. After years of trying to figure out what was causing the constipation, we realized it was red meat. Now, he has a very limited diet of poultry, seafood, and vegetarian foods. The rest of the family has also changed our diet. We have tried intermittent meals with red meat, and my son still has trouble every time. I can assure you that the inability for some people to digest meat is very real.
on April 09, 2012
at 01:21 PM
My Husband has Kidney disease. No red meat in our house. My son has egg allergy and loves them no eggs in our house. He also has a yeast allergy, no yeasty breads or crackers for him.sigh. Is it possible to go paleo?
on May 22, 2011
at 05:01 AM
Just stumbled across this form. Thought I'd but in if you don't mind.
I was watching House as in Dr. House on Tv and his patient has some inability to digest meat he gave it a name but I didn't hear it properly but then they referred to it as OTD I was wondering what that stood for.
I eat every kind of meat I was given as a kid but then when I was about 11 or 12 I eat a casserole my sister made and spent the night in damn terrible pain. It was like I was trying to digest broken glass, I was white/green in the face from the pain. I thought it was a bad meat, but then it happened again and again. So I stopped eating meat at my sister's house. Ah but then I had a hamburger at a hamburger joint and it happened again. I stopped eating red meat after that but then it happened with pork so after that I never eat meat again. Don't miss it in the least now in fact I wonder how I ever eat it. I do have a number of allergies to unusual things.
on March 13, 2011
at 11:46 PM
A friend of mine recently developed an allergy to red meat as a result of antibodies produced in response to a tick bite. This article discusses this phenomenon:
I would be seriously depressed if I developed this! And I work out in the woods some, so there's a distant chance I could get it.
on February 15, 2017
at 01:05 AM
People can be allergic to red meat. Pork is a red meat so if they eat pork then it is probably a diet choice and not an allergy.
on March 14, 2011
at 01:03 AM
I have a friend who has an identified allergy to MAMMALIAN protein, so this would include beef, lamb, rabbit, etc. She still can consume fowl, fish, and shellfish protein. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10640909
(This may also speak to the igE issue an earlier post spoke to.)
I have another friend who appears to be allergic to almost every synthesized antibiotic created by modern pharma. Sometimes it feels like people are conflating their allergic issues until you see them having serum sickness rashes.
I think this fully speaks to the Paleo concept of "observe what makes you feel better or worse and adjust accordingly."