2005-06-16 01:25:07 UTC
mette in relazione forti consumi di carni rosse e salumi e il rischio di
Il rischio è risultato superiore di un terzo in coloro che mangiano almeno
160 g di carne rossa e salumi al giorno, rispetto a quelli che la consumano
una volta la settimana o meno.
"Red meat 'linked to cancer risk'", BBC News, June 15, 2005,
A major study has found fresh evidence of a link between red and
processed meat and bowel cancer, scientists say.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)
looked at the dietary habits of over 500,000 people across Europe over
Bowel cancer risk was a third higher for those who regularly ate over
two 80g portions of red or processed meat a day, compared to less than
one a week.
EPIC's study is reported in the Journal of the National Cancer
Since it began, 1,330 people have developed bowel cancer.
The study also found a low fibre diet increased the risk of bowel
Eating poultry had no impact but the risk for people who ate one
portion or more of fish every other day was nearly a third lower than
those who ate fish less than once a week.
Lead researcher Professor Sheila Bingham, of the MRC Dunn Human
Nutrition Unit in Cambridge, said: "People have suspected for some time
that high levels of red and processed meat increase risk of bowel
cancer, but this is one of the largest studies worldwide and the first
from Europe of this type to show a strong relationship."
Professor Bingham said there were several theories about why red meat
should increase the risk of bowel cancer.
She believes the most likely explanation is that compounds called
haemoglobin and myoglobin, which are found in red meat, trigger a
process called nitrosation in the gut, which leads to the formation of
Alternatively, the problem might be caused by compounds called
heterocyclic amines, carcinogenic compounds created in the cooking
However, these compounds are also found in poultry, which has not been
linked to an increased cancer risk.
Professor Tim Key, of the charity Cancer Research UK, said: "This study
strengthens evidence that bowel cancer risk can be cut by increasing
fibre in the diet and reducing consumption of red and processed meat."
The researchers defined red meat as beef, lamb, pork and veal.
Processed meat was mostly pork and beef that were preserved by methods
other than freezing. They include ham, bacon, sausages, liver pate,
salami, tinned meat, luncheon meat and corned beef.
The Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) said people in Britain ate well
below the 160g per day consumption levels that were used to class high
intake in the study.
Mike Attenborough, MLC technical director, said: "Once again this
points towards the need for moderation and balance in what we eat."
The study was funded by the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research
UK and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
BOWEL CANCER RISK
There are 17 cases per 10,000 50-year-olds a year among the group eating
more than two portions of red meat a day
There are 12 cases per 10,000 50-year-olds a year among the group eating
less than one portion of red meat a week
On average, people eat 95g of red meat a day
A sausage for breakfast, a ham sandwich for lunch and a steak in the
evening would add up to 205g of meat
In England and Wales the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with bowel cancer
is 1 in 18 for men and 1 in 20 for women
18,500 cases in men and over 16,000 cases in women are newly diagnosed each
If the cancer is caught at an early stage, eight out of 10 cases can be