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Red meat cancer risk
[Posted: Thu 16/06/2005 www.irishhealth.com]
A new study has found fresh evidence of a link between red and processed meat and bowel cancer.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) looked at the dietary habits of over 500,000 people across Europe over a 10 year period.
Bowel cancer risk was a third higher for those who regularly ate over two 80g portions of red or processed meat a day, compared to less than one a week.
EPIC's study is reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
There were 17 cases per 10,000 50-year-olds a year among the group eating more than two portions of red meat a day and there were 12 cases per 10,000 50-year-olds a year among the group eating less than one portion of red meat a week
On average, people eat 95g of red meat a day
The study also found a low fibre diet increased the risk of bowel cancer.
Eating poultry had no impact, but the risk for people who ate one portion or more of fish every other day was nearly a third lower than those who ate fish less than once a week.
Lead researcher Professor Sheila Bingham, of the MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, said: "people have suspected for some time that high levels of red and processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer, but this is one of the largest studies worldwide and the first from Europe of this type to show a strong relationship."
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