Hold the Bacon: Processed Meats Linked to Early Death



A new study links the consumption of processed meats with a significant risk of early death.


 

HOLD THE BACON: PROCESSED MEATS LINKED TO EARLY DEATH

As I extensively discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, red meat and processed meats (such as bacon, sausages, and luncheon meats) have been directly linked to an increased risk of multiple different types of cancer, including cancers of the breast, prostate, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, colon, and rectum. Moreover, diets rich in these meat products are also associated with a higher risk of that other great killer of mankind, cardiovascular disease.  Now, a newly published public health study puts the impact of a meat-rich diet into stark perspective. This important new clinical study appears in the current issue of the journal BMC Medicine.

Nearly 450,000 men and women between the ages of 35 and 69 have participated in a huge ongoing prospective public health study, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), making this one of the largest prospective clinical research studies ever undertaken. All of these study volunteers were without clinical evidence of cancer, stroke, or cardiovascular disease at the time they entered into this clinical study. At the time when data from the EPIC study was collected for this analysis, after almost 13 years of follow-up on average, 26,344 study volunteers had died since enrolling in the study.

Following extensive statistical analysis of the huge amount of data collected in this study, the increased consumption of processed meats was linked to a 44 percent increase in the risk of death from all causes, including cardiovascular (heart) disease and cancer. Red meat was also associated with an increase in the risk of death due to all causes, although not to the same extent as was observed with processed meats. (As with multiple previous studies, this study also found no association between the consumption of poultry and an increase in the risk of death from any cause.)

Based upon their analysis of the data, the researchers who conducted this gigantic public health study concluded that more than 3 percent of the deaths observed in this study could have been prevented if all study volunteers had decreased their processed meat intake to less than 20 grams (0.7 ounces) per day.

As I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, our dietary and other lifestyle choices can have an enormous impact on our overall health, including our risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. If you seek to minimize your risk of these two great killers of modern mankind, and you wish to begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle now, then get your copy of A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race from your favorite bookstore!

 

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 AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’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.

 

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Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1


Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1


At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


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


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  Over the past 12 months, more than 2.7 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 


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Foods that Decrease and Increase Breast Cancer Risk





 

A new study finds that breast cancer risk is significantly affected by specific foods.


 

 

FOODS THAT DECREASE AND INCREASE BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, breast cancer is associated with more modifiable risk factors than any other type of cancer.  Among the many known modifiable risk factors for breast cancer, diet is currently thought to play a relatively minor but still important role.  Now, a newly published research study adds important new information regarding potential links between diet and breast cancer risk.  This new public health study appears in the current issue of the journal Nutrition & Cancer.

In this case-control study, the dietary habits of 3,443 women with breast cancer were compared to those of 3,474 women without breast cancer.  As with previous studies, this new study found that increased vegetable intake decreased breast cancer risk.  Specifically, frequent vegetable intake was associated with a 20 percent overall decrease in breast cancer risk.  Increased intake of the so-called allium vegetables, including onions, garlic, chives, leeks and scallions, appeared to be especially protective against breast cancer in this study.  Although increased fruit intake, overall, did not appear to reduce breast cancer risk, this study did find that certain individual types of fruits appeared to reduce breast cancer risk, including citrus fruits and the so-called rosaceae fruits (apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, raspberries and strawberries).  On the other hand, both meat and fish appeared to increase breast cancer risk in this study (as I also discuss in my book).

While questionnaire-based public health studies such as this study provide weaker levels of clinical evidence than prospective, randomized, controlled studies, the findings of this study are largely consistent with similar previous studies, with the exception of the favorable association between specific types of fruit and breast cancer risk.  As an added bonus, most of the foods that were found to decrease breast cancer risk in this public health study are also known to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and other serious illnesses as well.

 

At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.

 

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 AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’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.comTop 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


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 





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Meat Consumption and Colorectal Cancer Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



MEAT CONSUMPTION AND COLORECTAL CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling evidence-based book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, our dietary habits have an enormous impact on our risk of developing cancer, and particularly cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.  Colorectal cancer risk, specifically, has been directly linked to diets high in red meat, processed meats, grilled meats, and other animal-based fats.  However, the majority of research data linking these dietary factors to colorectal cancer risk, and the premalignant “adenomatous” polyps that precede the development of colorectal cancer, has been based upon one-time surveys and one-time clinical examinations performed on public health research study volunteers.  Because of the known limitations of such studies, more compelling research data is needed to show, convincingly, that these dietary factors are indeed associated with a greater risk of premalignant and malignant tumors of the colon and rectum.  Now, a newly published research study, which appears in the British Journal of Cancer, provides this higher-level data which, once again, confirms a link between meat-rich diets and colorectal cancer risk.

More than 17,000 volunteers participated in the prospective, giant Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial (PLCOCS Trial).  All of these clinically healthy volunteers underwent endoscopic examinations of the rectum and lower colon (proctosigmoidoscopy) both when they entered into the PLCOCS Trial and again during a follow-up examination.  Careful dietary records were also kept by all participants in this very large cancer screening trial.

A total of 1,008 research volunteers were found to have premalignant polyps (adenomas) of the lower colon and rectum during these two separate endoscopic colorectal examinations.  In this huge population of otherwise healthy research volunteers, the frequent consumption of grilled meat was associated with a 56 percent increase in the risk of developing premalignant colorectal adenomas, while increased intake of well- or very-well done cooked meat was associated with a 59 percent increase in the risk of colorectal adenomatous polyps.  Interestingly, despite the fact that the iron pigment in red meat (heme) has long been suspected of acting as a carcinogen within the colon and rectum, total dietary iron intake actually appeared to be somewhat protective against colorectal adenomas in this study; and study participants with higher levels of total iron intake were 31 percent less likely to develop colorectal adenomas.

This study, with its prospective design, its very large number of research participants, and its baseline and follow-up proctosigmoidoscopic exams, provides a more accurate view of the impact of meat intake on the risk of developing precancerous colorectal adenomatous polyps when compared to most previous similar research studies.  The findings of this huge clinical research study, therefore further confirm that precancerous colon and rectal adenomatous polyps are, indeed, strongly associated with meat intake in our diets.

 


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, 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! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 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


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 



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Low-Carb Diet and Risk of Death

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


LOW-CARB DIET AND RISK OF DEATH

The debate regarding the potential health benefits of low-carbohydrate diets has gone on for over four decades now.  During this period, the pendulum has swung, repeatedly, back and forth between “low-carb” and “high-carb” diets, combined with controversies regarding low-fat versus high-fat diets, as various diet and health gurus have weighed in with their recommendations.  (Witness one of the more popular and enduring of these “have it your way” dietary fads, the now discredited Atkins Diet, which advocated a reduction in carbohydrate intake combined with a free pass on meat consumption, and other animal-based sources of fat and protein.)

Currently, there is really no meaningful controversy regarding the linkage between meat consumption and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.  However, the impact of dietary carbohydrate intake on health continues to be the subject of some debate.   Unfortunately, as is often the case regarding debates about lifestyle- and diet-related health factors, there is very little high-level clinical research data evidence available to support the more ambitious claims made by “experts” at either spectrum of the carbohydrate debate.  Now, a newly published study, which appears in the current issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, offers a fresh, evidence-based assessment of the impact of carbohydrate and meat intake on the risk of early death. 

In this prospectively conducted cohort study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the results of two very large prospective public health studies were combined.  More than 85,000 women who participated in the vast Nurses’ Health Study, and nearly 46,000 male physicians who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, were included in this analysis.  These healthy female and male volunteers were without clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer when they entered into these studies.  An almost unprecedented duration of clinical follow-up was available for these two enormous groups of research volunteers, which makes this combined cohort study extremely powerful.  On average, the male study volunteers have already been followed for 20 years, while the women volunteers have been followed for an average of 26 years.  All of these 129,716 men and women completed multiple validated diet questionnaires at various time points in these two clinical studies, and the data collected from these questionnaires was then used to analyze the impact of diet on mortality (death) risk among this huge group of nurses and physicians.

Two sub-groups of volunteers were assessed, based upon their dietary preferences, and these two sub-groups of men and women were then compared with the remaining study volunteers.   The first dietary preference sub-group consisted of men and women who preferred a low-carbohydrate diet associated with the frequent intake of meat and other animal-based foods (along the lines of the Atkins Diet), while the second sub-group consisted of men and women who routinely consumed a low-carbohydrate diet that emphasized vegetable and fruit sources of protein (instead of animal sources of protein).

Over the very long duration of the two combined studies, 12,555 deaths occurred among the women (including 2,458 deaths due to cardiovascular disease).  Among the men, there were 8,678 deaths (including 2,746 deaths due to cardiovascular disease).

In the group of men and women who favored an Atkins-like diet, emphasizing a low carbohydrate intake but liberal meat consumption (and other animal-based foods, as well), the risk of premature death from any cause (when compared to a low-carb, low-meat diet) was elevated by 23 percent.  This same dietary preference was also associated with a 14 percent increase in the risk of death due to, specifically, cardiovascular disease.

In contrast, the men and women who consumed a diet low in both carbohydrates and animal products appeared to significantly reduce their risk of death due to all causes, as well as their mortality due to cardiovascular disease, specifically.  In this group of research volunteers, mortality due to any cause was reduced by 20 percent, while death due to cardiovascular disease, specifically, was reduced by 23 percent.

The findings of this very large prospective public health study, with its extremely long duration of clinical follow-up, confirms the findings of other recent (and less powerful) small clinical studies that a diet rich in vegetables, but low in both carbohydrates and animal-derived foods, confers a very significant benefit in terms of the overall risk of death, and the risk of death from cardiovascular disease, in particular.

Excessive carbohydrate intake has been previously shown to increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses.  At the same time, increased meat intake has also been clearly shown to raise the risk of many of these same life-threatening illnesses, as well.  From this huge prospective cohort clinical study, we can see highly significant health benefits associated with long-term adherence to a healthy diet rich in vegetables and low in carbohydrates and animal-derived foods.  (And there are not many health benefits that can trump a significant reduction in your risk of premature death!)

 

For an evidence-based review of the critical importance of diet in a cancer prevention lifestyle, watch for the publication of my new landmark book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” later this month.



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, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit our premier global health information website every month.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.



 

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