Early maturity due to a lot of meat

High meat consumption can cause girls to start menstruation early.

(06/12/2010) A high consumption of meat during childhood can cause an early onset of menstrual bleeding. A scientific study has shown that a very high consumption of meat makes girls sexually mature earlier than normal. The nutritional study wanted to investigate why many girls of the younger generation start menstruation earlier and earlier.

In the course of the British study, the eating behavior of around 3000 girls was examined. It turned out that in many girls who eat a lot of meat, sexual maturity occurs earlier and, accordingly, the period occurs at a young age. Meat has a high percentage of zinc, protein and iron. The high concentration of nutrients prepare the body for pregnancy. In addition, young women who reach sexual maturity earlier have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer and heart disease, explained the scientist at Imogen Rogers from the "School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences" at the University of Brighton.

The long-term study started in the 1990s. The eating behavior of a total of 3298 girls from the southwestern region of England was examined. The parents filled out a meal plan and noted everything their children ate during their 3rd year. The study was then repeated again when the girls were seven years old. The researchers divided the participants into two groups. In the first group were the girls who had their menstrual period before the age limit of 12 years and eight months. In the second group were the girls who only got their first period afterwards. Using these two categories, the scientists were able to observe whether eating behavior affects the age at which menstruation begins.

When evaluating the results, it was noticed that the girls, who ate a lot of meat in school age, reached sexual maturity before the limit age. The proportion was 49 percent. For girls who ate little meat, the percentage of premature sexual maturity was only 35 percent. The scientists now want to undertake further studies to deepen the results. The study showed that extreme meat consumption should be avoided. Further results can be found in the journal "Public Health Nutrition". (sb)

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Photo credit: Dieter Sch├╝tz / Pixelio.de.

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