Red Meat Increases Risk of Death Due to Cancer and Heart Disease
April 15, 2012 by Robert Wascher
Filed under A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, Cancer, Cancer Prevention, Grilled Meat, Healthy Diet, Nutrition, Processed Meat, Red Meat, Risk of Death, Weekly Health Update, cancer risk, cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, death, diet, health, heart attack, heart disease, lifestyle, meat, mortality, pancreatic cancer, rectal cancer, stomach cancer, whole grains
New research finds that even one serving of red meat or processed meat per day significantly increases the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease and cancer.
RED MEAT INCREASES RISK OF DEATH DUE TO CANCER AND HEART DISEASE
As I discuss in the “Diet & Cancer Risk” chapter of my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, diets rich in red meat and processed meats are known to increase the risk of several forms of potentially deadly cancer, including cancers of the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectum, as well as other types of cancer. Now, a new update from two very large prospective public health studies indicates that even a single daily serving of red meat or processed meat significantly increases the risk of death due to both cancer and cardiovascular disease. This new research update appears in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
This new update combines the findings from two large and ongoing prospective public health studies. The first of these two public health studies is the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, and includes data collected on 37,698 male health professionals. The second prospective public health study is the Nurses’ Health Study, which includes data collected on 83,644 female nursing professionals. Importantly, all of these 121,342 health care professionals were clinically healthy at the time they entered into these two landmark public health studies. However, over a cumulative follow-up period that encompassed nearly 3 million “person-years” of observation, there were 5,910 deaths due to cardiovascular disease and 9,464 deaths due to cancer among these study participants.
Analysis of the huge amount of clinical data collected from these two public health studies revealed that only one serving of unprocessed red meat per day was associated with a 13 percent increase in the risk of death due to any cause, while a single daily serving of processed meat (e.g., sausages, luncheon meats, bacon, and hot dogs) was associated with a 20 percent overall increase in the risk of death. More specifically, one serving of unprocessed red meat per day was associated with an 18 percent increase in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, while a single serving of processed meat per day was linked to a 21 percent increased risk of death due to cardiovascular disease. Similarly, one serving of unprocessed red meat per day resulted in a 10 percent increase in the risk of dying due to cancer, while a single daily serving of processed meat increased the risk of dying from cancer by 16 percent.
Based upon the findings of these two very large public health studies, the studies’ authors predicted that substituting just one daily serving of fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, whole grains, or low-fat dairy products for one daily serving of red meat or processed meat would have resulted in a 7 to 19 percent decrease in the overall death rate among these male and female health care professionals! Moreover, it was also estimated that by cutting daily red meat intake to only one-half serving per day (42 grams per day), 9 percent of the observed deaths among the male health care professionals could have been prevented, while 8 percent of the deaths among the female nurses could have been prevented!
The findings of these two pivotal prospective public health studies reinforce the additional research data that I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, in terms of the significant impact of diet on our risk of developing cancer. To reach a deeper understanding of how to live an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order a copy of A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race today.
For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!
Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com “Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.
Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity
Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author
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