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Red Meat Raises Death Risk from Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease

March 19th, 2012 by Dr. Robert Wascher




A new study confirms that red meat significantly increases the risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease.


RED MEAT RAISES DEATH RISK FROM CANCER AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE

As I discuss in my bestselling book,A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, red meat consumption has repeatedly been linked, by multiple research studies, to an increased risk of several different types of cancer, and an increased risk of dying from cancer.

Now, a newly published research study, which combines data from two very large prospective public health studies, provides yet more insight into the magnitude of health risk associated with the consumption of processed and unprocessed red meats. By combining the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses Health Study, dietary and health data from more than 121,000 physicians and nurses, encompassing an amazing 3 million person-years of clinical data, was collected and analyzed.

All of the more than 121,000 participating research volunteers were clinically free of cardiovascular disease and cancer when they entered into these two very large prospective public health studies. This important clinical study appears in the current issue of theAnnals of Internal Medicine.

During the course of this public health study, 5,910 study volunteers died from cardiovascular disease complications, while 9,464 volunteers died from cancer. Following analysis of the huge amount of data collected within these two large studies, it was determined that the consumption of 1 serving per day of unprocessed red meat was associated with a 13 percent overall increase in the risk of death (when compared to no daily consumption of red meat), while 1 daily serving of processed red meat was associated with a 20 percent increase in the risk of death.

Breaking down the data further, the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease was increased by 18 percent with 1 serving of unprocessed red meat per day, and by 21 percent with 1 daily serving of processed red meat. Similarly, the risk of dying from cancer was increased by 10 percent with 1 daily serving of unprocessed red meat, and by 15 percent with 1 serving per day of processed red meat.

Importantly, the substitution of 1 daily serving of healthier sources of dietary protein (including fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy foods, and whole grains) in place of 1 daily serving of red meat reduced death rates, due to all causes, by a predicted 7 to 19 percent. Furthermore, the authors of this crucial public health study calculated that reducing daily red meat intake from 1 serving per day (approximately 90 grams, or 3.2 ounces, per day) to one-half serving per day (approximately 45 grams, or 1.6 ounces, per day) would have prevented 9 percent of the observed deaths among the adult male volunteers in this study and 8 percent of the deaths observed among the adult female volunteers.

The size of these two public health studies and their prospective design are important factors that help to overcome the limitations inherent in smaller survey-based public health studies. Moreover, the findings of these two landmark public health studies confirm, once again, the research data and conclusions that I discuss inA Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, in the chapter on diet and cancer risk: A diet low in meat products and rich in fish, poultry, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains and tree nuts will significantly reduce your risk of dying from cancer, while simultaneously reducing your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease as well!


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, fromAmazon,Barnes & Noble,Books-A-Million,Vromans Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication,A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on theAmazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on theAmazon.com “Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.


Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr.Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


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