Red Alert: Red Meat Packs Cancer Risk
(Ivanhoe Broadcast)—Red meat is once again on the health hazard radar. A researcher from Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles concluded that red meat consumption may increase your risk of bladder cancer and certain genetic traits may amplify those risks.
Dietary protein and dietary iron found in red meat generate amine and heme which is conducive to the formation of nitrosamines—cancer-causing compounds. Unfortunately, the carcinogens may be affecting more organs in the body than originally thought.
"Nitrosamine formation occurs predominantly in the stomach and intestines, so these exposures have been studied extensively in relation to gastric cancer and somewhat in relation to colorectal cancer," said doctoral student Chelsea Catsburg in a prepared statement. "However, there is evidence that these reactions also take place in the bladder, particularly in the presence of infection."
Past USC studies showed that meats like salami and liver raised bladder cancer risks due to their high levels of heme and amine. Aside from these concentrations, a polymorphism may also affect DNA repair effectiveness.
Catsburg and her team evaluated over 300 bladder cancer cases as well as over 400 controls datasets to address the role of genetic traits.
"This polymorphism is suspected to reduce the DNA repair activity of the RAD52 protein, and the association of these meat groups and bladder cancer risk was significantly higher in individuals with one or more copies of this polymorphism," Catsburg said.
Data collected in USC studies coupled with findings from The World Cancer Research Fund shows that red meat consumption may increase stomach, bowel and bladder cancer development risks. Some individuals are especially vulnerable due to genetic polymorphisms evaluated in Catsburg’s study. Concurrent and future studies will continue to evaluate the relationship of nitrosamines and dietary intake.
Source: American Association for Cancer Research
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