Is meat carcinogenic? Should we all become vegetarians?
It is a fact. red meat is one of the most consumed fleshes in the world. And this is why the scientific data that indicate that the meat is indeed carcinogenic moves crowds, giving a signal of alert and concern. In a near past, the World Health Organization, already confirmed that cold cuts were carcinogenic … now, scientific data may also confirm that red meat could be carcinogenic too.
On the other hand, the meat industry stillcontends there is no link between red meat, processed meats, and cancer, and says that lean red meat fits into a heart-healthy diet.
Should we all become vegetarians?
In 2014, an international committee recommended starting with the analysis of red meat and processed meat as a priority. From that moment, several epidemiological studies were carried out that suggested that a small increase in the risks of suffering from several cancers could be related to the consumption of these foods.
Red meat was classified in group 2A, possibly carcinogenic to humans. The processed meat was placed one step higher: in group 1, carcinogenic to humans. That is to say that: each serving of 50 grams of processed meat consumed per day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%.
What kind of Cancer could Meat create to our bodies?
The strongest evidence, although still limited, is that red meat is associated with cancers of the colon and rectum.
For colorectal there is an association between the high consumption of processed meat and the risk that we could determine with a reasonable certainty and that was not explained by other factors. For stomach cancer, we also saw this association, but we could not rule out alternative explanations.
Why red meat is more linked with digestive problems than other types of meat? It is possible that the direct contact of the carcinogenic of the meat with the intestinal epithelial cells influences the gastrointestinal cancers.
Does chicken and fish also raise the risk of getting cancer? Many investigations carried out, found no relationship between chicken and colorectal cancer. And about the fish, there is suggestive evidence that it can reduce the risk, but it is not confirmed. This is because both chicken and fish have less heme iron, and are usually cooked more in the oven than meat.