Australian Wagyu Association Conference
“The profile of Wagyu marbled beef is very beneficial to human health.”
According to Dr. Tim Crowe, dietician and lecturer from the Deakin University School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences in Melbourne Australia, “The profile of Wagyu marbled beef is very beneficial to human health.*” The mono-unsaturated to saturated fat ratio is higher in WAGYU than in other beef. “But even the saturated fat contained in WAGYU is different. Forty percent is in a version called stearic acid, which is regarded as having a minimal impact in raising cholesterol levels. So really, the profile of marbled WAGYU beef is more beneficial to human health. It can be described as a healthier type of meat.”
WAGYU is also higher in a type of fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Dr. Crowe said CLA has been shown to have potent anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as being an anti inflammatory agent.
“It has a whole raft of potential health benefits – reducing heart disease, diabetes and asthma, reducing body fat gain, and increasing the immune response.” The best sources of CLA are beef and dairy products. WAGYU cattle contain the highest amount of CLA per gram of any foodstuff – about 30% more than other beef breeds – due to higher linoleic acid levels.
“We are not saying, for a moment, that eating lots of CLA in WAGYU is going to cure cancer or diabetes or make you lose weight.” “However, it can already be said that CLA has strong potential for human health benefits in the future.” “By promoting foods naturally high in CLA there are very few negative health effects, but the potential is there for substantial positive health benefits.”
*Dr. Tim Crowe, dietitian and lecturer, Deakin University School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, speaking at the Australian Wagyu Association Conference – November 2004
AgriLife Research Scientist Shares International Experience in Beefing Up Meat Quality
“Beef from Japanese cattle is much lower in saturated fat than that from our domestic beef.”
(Excerpts from a January 2013 AgriLife article. The complete article may be found at the link below.)
Dr. Stephen Smith, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research professor in the department of animal science at Texas A&M University in College Station, spoke about his international efforts to help bolster the beef industry at a recent seminar on the Texas A&M campus.
“Smith shared information…about his years of research and practical experience studying beef cattle from Australia, Japan, Korea and China. His decades of research and investigation have taken him to Japan 14 times, Korea seven times, Australia five times and China three times.”
“The majority of what I’ve done in my research during the past decade has involved the improvement of beef carcass quality and taste related to fat content, as well as the development of beef with a healthier type of fat,” Smith said.
He said his study of Angus cattle in Australia that first showed him how the quality of beef fat could be affected by what cattle were fed, as well as their genetics.
While pasture-raised Angus cattle in the U.S. and other countries produce a leaner beef, he said, the fat composition of that beef is higher in saturated fat and trans fats.
Smith said cattle raised in Japan and Korea, where the animals are fed more corn, produce a more marbled beef with a “healthier” type of fat.
“The marbling and overlying fat content in grain-fed beef has much less saturated and trans-fat than do the fat deposits in grass-fed beef,” he said.
“Japanese black and Japanese brown cattle are considered Wagyu and both have high marbling and oleic acid content,” Smith said. “Beef from Japanese cattle is much lower in saturated fat than that from our domestic beef.”
The beef from Akaushi or wagyu cattle, which originated in China, have nearly 50 percent more oleic acid content as American grass-fed beef, he said, adding that oleic acid content makes not only for better tasting beef, but also healthier, beef.
“Oils like olive or canola are the best sources of monounsaturated fatty acids and contain 60 to 70 percent oleic acid,” he said “Research shows oleic acid increases the HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol and decreases LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol in humans.”
Smith said while some U.S. meat processors generally shy away from the word “fat” as an anathema to health-conscious consumers, producers of Wagyu beef raised in Japan or Australia aren’t afraid of the association with fat.
“Wagyu beef is known for its high marbling and monounsaturated fat,” he said. “They’re not afraid of marketing fat content, and I hope the rest of the industry sees that.”
Schattenberg, P. (2013). AgriLife. Research scientist shares international experience in beefing up meat quality.
Retrieved from a January 2013 AgriLife article