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What you need to know about red meat cancer studies

There has been information that red meat is not healthy for human consumption. A new study report by the Harvard School of Public Health revealed even more evidence that a daily serving of meat increases the occurrence of red meat cancer and heart disease. The study is one of the most detailed evidence yet of the health risks of red meat. Here’s what you need to know about red meat cancer studies.

Study findings on red meat consumption

The Harvard School of Public Health study on the health impacts of red meat consumption found that those who eat red meat are 13 percent more likely to die within the study period. About 14 percent of these people are more likely to develop cancer and heart disease. The scientists conducting the study followed about 38, 000 men and 84,000 women for a period of 28 years.

According to the researchers, a daily serving of processed meat like bacon, hot dogs and salami increases the figures to 20 percent more deaths and about 18 percent more heart problems. Those who indulged in a daily serving of processed meat reported developing red meat cancer. The study also reported that daily cigarette smoking increases the risk of these health hazards between 2,000 and 4000 percent.

Coinciding research study

The finding of this study coincides with findings of a study report by the U.S National Cancer Institute published in 2009 that was conducted on some 500,000 people for over a decade. In an editorial in the Archives of Internal Medicine relating to the Harvard School of Public Health study, Dr. Dean Ornish, an expert on preventative medicine in the San Francisco Bay area, USA said that red meat was not only harmful to the human body, but also to the planet. She said that it takes a lot of energy-intensive fertilizers and plants to fatten pigs and cattle that people latter use as red meat.

Harmful effects of red and processed meat

Meat cancer studies associate consumption of red meat with cardiovascular diseases because of the high concentration levels of saturated fat. According to the the UK study, reducing consumption of red and processed meat can not only lead to a fall of between three percent and 12 percent in incidences of chronic diseases in the country, but also shrink the county's annual carbon footprint by 28 million tones.

Important note on meat cancer studies

While meat cancer studies have consistently showed that a daily serving of red meat is hazardous, it is important to realise that the studies are not conclusive. Researchers have merely followed hundreds of thousands of red-meat-eating people for decades. The studies are not controlled and they do not check for other carcinogens (cancer causing substances) people are exposed to or consuming during the study period, such as home-care products. Based on this realisation, some people feel they may still enjoy a steak for dinner until an absolute conclusion on red meat cancer studies is arrived.

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