- A recent study suggests a link between red meat consumption and an increased risk of breast cancer. However, a definitive statement linking red meat to breast cancer demands more research and randomized trials.
- The study revealed that women who consumed the most red meat had a 23% increased risk of breast cancer, while those consuming the most poultry had a 15% reduced risk.
- The findings persisted even after considering other disease-associated factors such as ethnicity, finance, obesity, physical activity, alcohol intake, and other dietary elements.
- Replacing red meat with chicken might aid in decreasing the prevalence of breast cancer, although the exact reasoning for this is still to be determined.
- The reduction of red meat intake could also help mitigate the risk of various ailments such as colorectal cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes.
Opting for chicken instead of a grilled steak could potentially reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, a recent research implies.
Renowned international health authorities have already declared red meat a potential carcinogen. Adding to this, the latest study suggests an association between red meat consumption and an increased incidence of breast cancer. Beef, veal, pork, and lamb, as well as certain game meats, are herein encompassed.
Prevalence of Breast Cancer
The prominence of breast cancer, as the most prevalent type of cancer among women globally, makes this subject matter crucially significant.
Though this research in and of itself does not definitively conclude that red meat triggers breast cancer or the consumption of chicken acts as a preventative, the lead author argues that the suggested dietary change merits serious consideration.
“Considering a simple dietary modification such as replacing red meat with poultry might aid in decreasing the prevalence of breast cancer,” proposed primary investigator Dale Sandler, a prominent figure at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, situated in Research Triangle Park, N.C.
Sandler’s research team examined the meat cooking and consumption habits among over 42,000 women from the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico. Within this cohort, over 1,500 women were diagnosed with breast cancer during an approximate follow-up period of 7.5 years.
The study revealed that women who consumed the highest quantities of red meat faced a 23% escalated risk of breast cancer compared to those who consumed the least. Conversely, those with the highest poultry consumption had a 15% reduced risk compared to the lowest poultry consumers. Furthermore, the study discovered that women who swapped red meat for poultry saw a decrease in their risk, though the exact reasoning for this is yet to be determined.
“Our study offers empirical evidence that replacing red meat with poultry could potentially decrease breast cancer incidence,” Sandler affirmed.
Noteworthy is that the link between red meat consumption and breast cancer remained steadfast even after considering other disease-associated factors like ethnicity, financial status, obesity, physical activity, alcohol intake, and other dietary elements.
Sandler also pointed out that while previous studies indicated an increased cancer risk with consumption of grilled meat, her team found no correlation based on chemicals released in the cooking process at high temperatures.
Sandler concedes that a definitive statement linking red meat to breast cancer is challenging without dietary intervention studies such as randomized trials. “Such studies necessitate remarkably extended follow-up durations to examine breast cancer,” Sandler emphasized.
The findings of this study were made publicly accessible on Aug. 6 in the i>International Journal of Cancer.
Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, lent her expertise to reviewing the new findings.
“Studies suggest that the reduction of red meat intake mitigates the risk of numerous ailments such as colorectal cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and overall mortality,” Heller pointed out. Extending this list to include breast cancer seems rational, she remarked.
She further suggested lifestyle changes: “When we transition towards a more plant-based diet, engage in regular physical activity, avoid tobacco in all forms, and ensure adequate sleep, we equip our bodies with the essential nutrients to fend off diseases, protect cells, and maintain optimal health,” Heller articulated.
For comprehensive information on breast cancer, refer to the American Cancer Society.