Processed Meats, Red Meat and Cancer

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has issued a report that eating processed meats (bacon, sausage, bologna, hot dogs and so forth) raises risk for colon cancer, and that red meat (beef, pork, lamb and other meats from mammals) may cause cancers of the colon, prostate or pancreas (The Lancet Oncology, October 26, 2015).

The WHO report was written by 22 public health experts from 10 countries who reviewed 800 studies on cancer in humans. They found that the more meat a person eats, the more likely he is to develop cancer. Each 50 grams of processed meat (two slices of ham or a sausage) per day is associated with an 18 percent increased risk of colon cancer. Every 100 grams of red meat eaten daily increases colon cancer risk by 17 percent. They also concluded that prolonged cooking at high temperatures or in direct contact with the heat source increases production of Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs), which are potent carcinogens. These experts conceded that: • processed meats are not as risky as smoking tobacco or being exposed to asbestos • the association of red meat with colon cancer is not as strong as its association with processed meats. According to the Earth Policy Institute, the average North American ate 80 pounds of meat (per year) in 1940 and in 2012, he ate 180 pounds.

My Recommendations Those of you who have read my newsletters and listened to my radio show know that for the past thirty years I have recommended avoiding or severely limiting red meat and processed meats. See my reports on: Diet Changes Reduce Colon Cancer Risk in Just Two Weeks How Red Meat May Increase Risk for Cancer How Red Meat May Cause Cancer Red Meat Associated with Many Different Diseases How Red Meat May Increase Heart Attack Risk and many others in the Nutrition Section of

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