Can Eating Red Meat Increase Your Chance of Contracting Lyme Disease? Experts Weigh In

Can Eating Red Meat Increase Your Chance of Contracting Lyme Disease? Experts Weigh In

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected black-legged tick. While most cases of Lyme disease occur in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States, the disease is now spreading to other parts of the country as well. In recent years, there has been some debate about whether eating red meat increases your chance of contracting Lyme disease. So, let’s delve deeper into this issue and see what experts have to say.

The link between red meat consumption and Lyme disease stems from a study that was published in 2018, which suggested that a sugar molecule commonly found in red meat called Neu5Gc may make people more susceptible to Lyme disease. According to the study, consuming red meat could cause an immune response that increases the risk of contracting Lyme disease. However, it is important to note that this study was conducted on mice, and we cannot necessarily apply its findings to humans.

Moreover, there is no concrete evidence to support the idea that eating red meat alone increases the risk of getting Lyme disease. Rather, contracting Lyme disease is directly related to tick bites. The best way to avoid Lyme disease is to avoid exposure to ticks. Here are some tips to help you protect yourself against tick bites:

1. Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.

2. Walk in the middle of trails.

3. Use repellent that contains 20 to 30 percent DEET or picaridin.

4. Wear long sleeves and pants, and tuck your pants into your socks or boots.

5. Shower as soon as possible after being outdoors.

6. Check your body for ticks daily, especially in areas where ticks are commonly found, such as the scalp, behind the ears, and in the armpits and groin.

7. Remove any tick promptly and properly with fine-tipped tweezers.

In conclusion, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that eating red meat increases the chance of contracting Lyme disease, but avoiding exposure to ticks is the best way to prevent the disease. If you have any concerns about Lyme disease or tick bites, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply