Cancer experts issue red meat warning

Avoid developing bowel cancer by reducing your red and processed meat intake says the WCRF

Reducing red and processed meat intake could cut bowel cancer by 43 per cent says the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), after an analysis of 24 studies on meat consumption and bowel cancer.

The WCRF recommends people avoid processed meat including salami and ham, and only eat up to 500g of red meat a week in order to reduce the risk of bowel cancer.

‘On meat, the clear message that comes out of our report is that red and processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer and that people who want to reduce their risk should consider cutting down the amount they eat’, says Alan Jackson, a professor of nutrition at Southampton University.

Approximately 36,000 Britons suffer from bowel cancer each year, of which 16,500 die from it. British women should especially take note since bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in women after breast cancer.

The WCRF report also found ‘convincing’ evidence that eating food high in fibre such as pulses, fruit and vegetables, and milk, garlic and dietary supplements containing calcium reduces the risk of developing bowel cancer. Implementing exercise into your day to day routine also reduces the risk of bowel cancer.

‘The report significantly adds to evidence into the increased risk of bowel cancer from eating too much red and processed meat; and strengthens the evidence of how eating food with fibre in it protects people against the disease,’ says Deborah Alsina, chief executive of Bowel Cancer UK.

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