Beef Checkoff Research Upholds High Standard of Integrity Through Beef Nutrition Research

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Dr. Shalene McNeill about beef nutrition research.

Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is back visiting with the Executive Director of Nutrition Research at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dr. Shalene McNeill, about the latest beef nutrition research.

“Research takes forever to get those results, so it is a patient process,” McNeill said. “At any given time, the checkoff has about 20 human nutrition trials going on where we are studying all of the various aspects about beef, but here recently, we have had some great studies that have been published out in the peer review that were really important research questions answered.”

McNeill said one important research question that was answered addressed inflammation, as more of the public has recently leaned toward considering an anti-inflammatory diet. Many believe that a high-meat diet will increase inflammation, so the Beef Checkoff research was conducted through Baylor College of Medicine.

Through the research conducted at Baylor College of Medicine, McNeill said it was found that there is no association between increased inflammation and consumption of red meat. Another topic of research McNeill talked about is the potential benefits of beef for individuals who are aging.

“We have done research to look at, if older people, 65 to 85, eat a meat meal, a meal with meat or a vegan meal, what happens to their muscle protein,” McNeill said. “Even if they have the same amount of protein. Two diets with a lot of protein in them- one vegan protein, and one meat protein. What we see is that muscle reacts differently to meat protein.”

McNeill said that by studying how muscle reacts to meat proteins versus plant proteins, it was found that there is a 47 percent increase in muscle synthesis for individuals who consumed beef. This is critical, McNeill said, because muscle synthesis is important for building muscle.

“Not all proteins are created equal, and we know that beef protein is delivering on building that muscle,” McNeill said.

Through Beef Checkoff funded research, McNeill said peer review is an important component because it helps to maintain the integrity of scientific research. When the Beef Checkoff funds research, McNeill said, scientists are expected to publish their results regardless of the outcome, even if the result is not what the Beef Checkoff expected to see.

“That is why the Beef Checkoff research is so high in scientific integrity, and I think that is why it has had the impact that it has had on improving beef demand over the years,” McNeill said.  

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

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