‘Grass always greener’ for health benefits
A major international marketing tool for pasture-fed Irish beef, has potentially been uneathed by UCD and Teagasc scientists
12 May 2010
Grass-fed cattle provide consumers greater protection against cancer, diabetes and heart disease than those feed on concentrates, new research by Teagasc has revealed.
Supplementing the diet of cattle with sunflower seed/oil, fish oil and vitamin E can also provide further health benefits for consumers, according to scientists at UCD and Teagasc’s Ashtown and Grange research centres. This diet produces beef rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
The new findings could potentially prove a great international marketing tool for Irish beef, where the herd tends to be more pasture-fed than many of its concentrate-fed competitors.
As UCD’s professor Helen Roche explained in The Irish Examiner: "Ireland has a predominantly pasture-based herd. That means the beef in Ireland contains higher levels of CLA than many other countries.”
The study also showed CLA-rich beef can have an anti-diabetic effect and help protect humans against certain factors associated with inflammatory ailments such as inflammatory bowel disease, sepsis and rheumatoid arthritis.