We love kebabs, mutton curries, chilli pork, chicken roast and more; don’t we?! Ask any meat lover, a juicy piece of meat defines indulgence for them. But did you know, it might affect your vision?! That’s right. Earlier, experts had talked a lot about how red meat affects our heart health, blood pressure and weight. Much has been written about it. Now, a new study by Flinders University found that our eye health might get affected as well.
A parasite named toxoplasma gondii, closely associated with animals, is behind the “retinal scarring”, states the research. “Many animals around the world are infected by the parasite, generally contracting the disease in environments soiled by infected cats or by consuming other infected animals. For humans, while domestic cat faeces can be a carrier, the most common route of infection is the consumption of undercooked or raw meat sourced from infected livestock,” the research further explains.
For the study, Professor Justine Smith, Strategic Professor in Eye & Vision Health at Flinders University and her team analysed retina photographs of over 5000 people living in Australia. Three specialised ophthalmologists, including Professor Smith, assessed the scans and found positive cases confirmed with antibody blood tests.
“Among the 5000 people, we found eight participants with blood test-confirmed toxoplasmic retinal scars. Add to that about three-quarters of the retinal lesions would be in a position not visible in these particular photographs, we were able to estimate the prevalence of ocular toxoplasmosis to be 1 per 149 persons,” the researchers state.
Considering the above study, Professor Smith and her team conclude that it is best to avoid undercooked or raw meat to reduce the chances of this disease. Besides, the parasite can also be killed by freezing the meat prior to cooking.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.