Lead Poisoning Risk From Venison

The reason animal products trigger inflammation in the body within hours of consumption is thought to be due to the residual bacterial toxins that survive the cooking process. This is all detailed in my Care2 article Why Meat Causes Inflammation. The saturated animal fat then helps ferry these endotoxins across the gut wall into our bloodstream. As concluded in a 2012 review, “while the most obvious solution to metabolic endotoxemia appears to be to reduce saturated fat intake, the Western diet is not conducive to this mode of action, and it is difficult for patients to comply with this request.” Thus, researchers have looked to wild animals for less inflammatory meat options.

Wild pheasants, for example, have been found to have significantly less saturated fat than farmed pheasants, so one would assume wild pheasant meat would trigger less inflammation. This concept wasn’t put to the test until recently. In my 3-min. video, Modern Meat Not Ahead of the Game, I profile a study performed by a group of Australian researchers that compared the amount of inflammation triggered by domesticated animal meat to wild kangaroo meat.

They found that eating kangaroos did trigger an inflammatory response, but not as much as the store-brought meat. This would suggest that venison, for example, would cause less inflammation than chicken, but the way in which the deer is killed makes a difference. See my NutritionFacts.org video pick above for the results of a study that raised food safety concerns about conventional ammunition. Note, lead has also been found in†protein powder supplements, ayervedic medicine supplements, and†other animal products. Like†mercury in tuna, no level of lead consumption can be considered safe.

For more depth, the inflammatory effects of animal foods are explored in my 3-part video series:

Most whole plant foods are anti-inflammatory–see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you havenít yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and watch my full 2012 presentation†Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death.

Image credit: LouisvilleUSACE / Flickr

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W. C
W. Cabout a year ago

Thank you.

William C
William Cabout a year ago


Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra5 years ago

Thank you Dr, Michael Greger, for Sharing this!

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Donna S.
Donna Peicker5 years ago

The reason I posed this question was because so many people that I've known who eat not only venison but moose and bear, have passed away from different types of cancer and felt that perhaps it could have had something to do with wild game - not necessarily lead, but perhaps foods that they ingested to remain in their systems that could lead to cancers after a person has ingested the wild game. Would like to hear if that is something reasonable to think.

Kim W.
Kim W.5 years ago

I believe I was actually quite young when I learned, probably from my Indian (American) Grandmother, that when an animal dies all systems stop, just as with humans. So tell me those of you here so terrified of lead poison from an animal that was killed with ammo??? how could it possibly be throughout the meat if the animal died from the bullet, remember now, blood stops flowing, come on now, remember 3 rd grade biology class? Please those of you that are so very emotionally involved in the issue of eating meat, take a moment and think before you say anything, really please?

Brian M.
Past Member 5 years ago

Local, sustainable, farm-raised game is much safer.

Dale Overall

Donna S, BusyMarilyn F, some vindictive types such as David V simply believe that it is their way or the highway. Meat eaters must be condemned to death via Karma in his unenlightened opinion. Must be intriguing to sit on the White Throne of Judgement from on high and condemn hunters to death via lead poisoning. Many don't even use lead ammunition these days. But no matter, it is round up time, going to the centre of the village square for those hunters as they hunt and eat meat.

For them, the karmic penalty is stoning by heavy veggies just after the lead poisoning gets them. Fascinating how some of these so-called kinder and gentler types always resort to wishing ill on others in true fundamentalist fashion. It doesn't really matter to them that when deer over populate they starve to death. Mother Nature is harsh but it is better perhaps in the opinion of some to starve to death in a painful and lingering death than to be shot by a hunter using non lead bullets.

Helle H.
Helle H5 years ago

I don't think it's legal to use any bullet with lead in Denmark. It might be harmful if you eat meat with lead in it. Otherwise meat should not be bad for you.

Donna S.
Donna Peicker5 years ago

I will not condemn hunters and say that they deserve lead poisoning for hunting animals that if they are not thinned out will overpopulate and then disease will befall them and they will eventually die as a result. I am though wondering if consuming deer, moose, bear and other game that may have the potential for lead poisoning could possibly lead to cancers? And nobody deserves that fate for hunting an animal for food.