Cold cuts could cause cancer

Afp
Monday 02 August 2010 00:00
Comments

Red meat is being raked over the coals again.

Already linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, including cancer of the pancreas, red meat was found by a team of US researchers to be a possible cause of bladder cancer, a study published in the journal Cancer said.

For those who can't do without their bacon-cheeseburger, some good news: scientists found no associations between beef, bacon, hamburger, sausage or steak and bladder cancer.

But they did observe a "positive nonlinear association for red meat cold cuts" and bladder cancer, they said.

The culprits in the cold cuts are nitrates and nitrites which are added to meat when it is processed to preserve and enhance color and flavor.

"Nitrate and nitrite are precursors to N-nitroso compounds (NOCs), which induce tumors in many organs, including the bladder, in multiple animal species," the study says.

For the study, scientists assessed the intake of nitrates, nitrites and other components found in red meat, in some 300,00 men and women aged 50-71 year, in eight US states, and its relation to cancer.

The study participants were followed up for up to eight years. During that time, 854 were diagnosed with cancer of the bladder.

The cientists found that people whose diets were high in nitrites from all sources, not just meats, and people who got a lot of nitrates in their diets from processed meats, like cold cuts, had a 28 to 29 percent greater chance of developing bladder cancer than those who consumed the lowest amount of either compound.

The scientists also found that people who ate the most red meat were younger, less educated, less physically active, and had lower dietary intake of fruits, vegetable, and vitamins C and E than those consuming the least red meat.

The researchers, led by Dr Amanda Cross of the National Cancer Institute, also found that the biggest carnivores among us were more likely to be non-Hispanic white, current smokers, to have a higher BMI, and to consume more beverages and total energy daily.

kdz/mk

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in