Can you get sick from eating venison?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question “Can you get sick from eating venison?”. Moreover, we will review the dangers associated with eating venison, the nutritional composition of venison and the health benefits of eating venison. 

Can you get sick from eating venison?

Yes, you can get sick from eating venison. There are certain zoonotic diseases that can be transferred from eating venison if it is not cooked properly. Moreover, overconsumption of venison can lead to adverse effects.

What is venison?

Venison is the meat of deer. It is a good source of essential nutrients including vitamin B12, niacin, and zinc needed for the entire day. Moreover, it contains a high amount of protein that can help maintain healthy muscles, brain and immune system and also aid in weight loss. 

Best of all, it is rich in flavour and can be a great way to enhance the nutritional value of any meal.

Health benefits of venison

  • Promotes weight loss: 

Venison is low in calories and rich in protein, making it a great source of food for weight loss. Consumption of protein helps decrease levels of hunger controlling hormone-ghrelin. Taking a diet that is high in protein can promote metabolism, decrease appetite thus reduce intake. 

  • Helps Prevent Anaemia:

Anaemia is characterized by low levels of red blood cells leading to fatigue, increased heartbeat, pale skin and dizziness. It occurs due to the deficiency of important vitamins and minerals particularly vitamin B12 and iron. 

Venison has adequate amounts of iron and vitamin B12, thus helps in curing iron deficiency and increase levels of red blood cell production.

  • Strengthens the Immune System

Zinc is essentially beneficial to strengthen the immune system. It is vital for the normal growth and development of immune cells and also aids in preventing oxidative stress caused by inflammation. 

Venison has enormous amounts of zinc, with only one three-ounce serving taking out 29% of your everyday zinc requirement. 

An adequate intake of zinc can also reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory infections like the common cold. Zinc is also helpful in treating conditions such as pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhoea.

  • Promotes Muscle Growth and Recovery

Protein is considered a building block for bones, muscles, cartilage and skin. It is also important for building and repairing tissues in the body and helps in gaining muscle mass.

Venison not only contains enormous amounts of protein but also constitute a specific amino acid called L-glutamine, which helps in muscle recovery. 

  • Sustainable Source of Protein

Venison is one of the healthiest protein foods that you can include in your diet. In fact, each three-ounce serving of venison provides 23 grams of protein, which is almost equal to beef, making it a prominent addition to a high-protein diet.

Protein is also essential for the synthesis of various enzymes and hormones. Deficiency of protein can lead to severe consequences, from slowing down your metabolism to compromising your energy levels and mood.

  • Supports Brain Health

It is evident that what we eat have a big impact on our brain health. Venison is considered a healthy food for the brain as it contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, vitamin B6 and niacin.

Niacin can help defend against the development of neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin B12, on the other hand, helps to improve learning and memory function whereas vitamin B6, helps to boost mood and improve mental health. 

Nutritional composition of venison

Nutrients Concentration
Protein22.5 grams
Fat7 grams
Niacin7.9 milligrams
Zinc4.4 milligrams
Vitamin B122 milligrams
Thiamin0.4 milligrams
Phosphorus194 milligrams
Riboflavin0.3 milligrams
Iron2.8 milligrams
Selenium8.8 milligrams
Potassium309 milligrams
Magnesium20.4 milligrams
Pantothenic acid 0.6 milligrams
Vitamin B60.4 milligrams

Dangers of eating venison

Though mostly beneficial, venison can be harmful if consumed in excess. 

  • Zoonotic diseases

Consuming undercooked venison can lead to various zoonotic diseases. Some deer are affected with chronic wasting disease, which attacks the brain and nervous system of the deer. It is advisable to not consume deer with symptoms including an emaciated appearance, drooling or staggering. 

Moreover, humans can get tuberculosis by eating deer that carry this disease. It is better to avoid meat with bubble-like lesions.

  • Lead consumption

Venison can be contaminated by lead present in bullet fragments which is really dangerous especially for children, causing major complications during their growth period.

  • Field contamination 

Venison can be contaminated with bacteria after it has been shot. During the cleaning and handling of the carcass, a hunter may puncture the deer’s, stomach, intestine and bladder, which can transmit potentially dangerous bacteria.

In addition, improperly stored venison can also lead to bacterial contamination if it has stayed warm for too long. 

  • Iron Overdose:

As venison is rich in iron, overconsumption of venison can cause an iron overdose leading to the following symptoms: 

  • Stomachaches
  • Constipation
  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • discolouration of palms, nails, teeth, and lips, 
  • Pale skin with rashes and itching
  • Swelling in the throat and mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Higher risk of blood clots
  • Hair loss
  • Fever
  • Weakness and drowsiness
  • Muscle and joint pain  

Individuals suffering from hemochromatosis should not consume venison in excessive amounts.

  • High Cholesterol 

People who are at risk for high cholesterol and disorders associated with high cholesterol should avoid consuming venison as they have a higher probability of suffering from coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, angina, heart attack, strokes and brain damage as a result of the stroke.


In this short article, we have provided an answer to the question. “Can you get sick from eating venison?”. Moreover, we have reviewed the dangers associated with eating venison, the nutritional composition of venison and the health benefits of eating venison. 


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