Breast cancer risk reduced when red meat is swapped with chicken


  • New research suggests that replacing your beef, lamb or pork with chicken and poultry, may decrease a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 28 percent.
  • According to one of the study’s researchers, Dr. Dale Sandler, red meat has been recognized as a possible carcinogen and has been related to increased breast cancer risks whereas consumption of poultry indicated a lowered risk.
  • Additionally, the study also revealed that no matter how food is cooked doesn’t affect a woman’s risks.

Exchanging beef burgers for chicken slash down risks for breast cancer by more than a quarter, according to research.

While previous studies have found diabetes, heart diseases and cancers to be connected to eating too much red meat, a new study now discovers that women were 28% less likely to contract breast cancer if they replace their beef, lamb or pork with poultry.

“Red meat has been identified as a probable carcinogen. Our study adds further evidence that red meat consumption may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer whereas poultry was associated with decreased risk,” said Dr. Dale Sandler, researcher from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

In the study, over 42,000 women were followed in the course of seven and a half years, where the group ate about 1.9 ounces (53 grams) each day.

Generally, individuals who consumed most of the red meat had a risk of the disease soaring to 23 percent compared to those who rarely ate it. On the other hand, the probability of having breast tumors is lowered by 15 percent by the group who ate more chicken and turkey.

In addition, the study also discovered that cooking methods have no effect on women’s risks.

Chicken consumption may contribute to lesser cell and DNA damage than eating red meat, experts say.

However, Dr. Giota Mitrou, Director of Research at World Cancer Research Fund, said that although this study provides more evidence as to previous research on the link between red meat and bowel cancer, he also said that there has been no substantial proof on red meat and breast cancer.  He added suggesting further study and examination on the role of chicken against breast cancer.

Other scientists were also wary of the study results.

“Weak associations were found between red meat consumption and an increased risk of breast cancer and between poultry consumption and a decreased risk of breast cancer,” said Prof Paul Pharoah, Professor of Cancer Epidemiology at Cambridge University warning that association or correlation does not suggest causation.

For Dr. Emma Derbyshire from the Meat Advisory Panel, she said that though the study suggests the dangers of consuming red meat, she said balance is still the key to everything while pointing out that red meat is also an essential source of good protein and key micronutrients like iron and zinc especially important for childbearing women.

The research was published in the International Journal of Cancer.


Source: New York Post

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