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‘Mealthy’ food: meat as a healthy and valuable source of micronutrients

  • D. Nohr (a1) and H. K. Biesalski (a1)


Over the last two or three decades meat and especially liver have been looked upon as unhealthy food with high fat content and carcinogenic potential. In addition, its content of highly valuable micronutrients has mostly been ignored. As a result, the mean uptake and serum levels of several micronutrients in the population are below the recommended levels. In the meantime, the contamination of liver with heavy metals and other contaminants has fallen far below the allowed thresholds and sometimes even below the detection limit while its content of micronutrients like iron, folate, selenium or zinc are still high. As a further advantage, the bioavailability of many micronutrients often is better from meat and liver then from plant sources. Considering these advantages and the low content of contaminants in meat and liver leads us to propose that meat – including liver – should be a regular part of a mixed and balanced healthy diet along with vegetables and fruits as the major components to ensure an optimal supply of micronutrients.

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