SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

May 26, 2011

Red Meat cited as Cancer Risk

THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

Red meat cited as cancer risk

Fiber can reduce threat, study says

By Jennifer LaRue Huget                                                                                                                                                                                                                 SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON POST

A report released yesterday by an international team of researchers said there is convincing evidence that eating too much red meat and processed meat raises colorectal cancer risk.    The report found that consuming plenty of fiber in the form of plant-based foods reduces that risk.

The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research together produce the Continuous Update Project, which gathers research about various forms of cancer, updating its database every few years.    For this report, scientists at Imperial College London conducted a review of published studies and ended up adding 263 new papers about colorectal cancer to the 749 that had been analyzed for the last report, issued in 2007.    The report notes that there is “convincing evidence” that:

  • Red meat, processed meat, excess body fat and fat carried around the waist increase risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Regular physical activity reduces risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Foods containing dietary fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, reduce risk of colorectal cancer. Garlic probably does, too (although the evidence for this isn’t as strong).

Red meat refers to beef, pork and lamb. If a person eats 3.5 ounces of red meat every day, the risk of colorectal cancer will be 17 percent higher than for someone who eats no red meat.

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