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Meat consumption and cancer risk

MedExpress Team

Medexpress

Published May 19, 2023 13:30

Meat consumption and cancer risk - Header image
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The current state of scientific knowledge leaves no doubt - regular consumption of red and processed meat is associated with a higher incidence of malignant tumors. Particularly at risk are people who cannot imagine their daily meals without a share of cold cuts or fried meat.

The place of red and processed meat in the classification of carcinogens

Let's start with a definition. Red meat comes from slaughtered animals (pork, beef, veal, mutton, lamb, horse meat, kid meat, venison) and has a high heme iron content. Processed meat, on the other hand, is meat that has been subjected to heat treatment (e.g., extended frying, traditional grilling, smoking), salting, curing, marinating, fermentation (maturation) or other processes that improve flavor or extend shelf life.

In 2015. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, or International Agency for Research on Cancer) published a report summarizing the results of more than 800 studies from the past 20 years on the link between meat consumption and cancer incidence. It concluded that regular consumption of pork, beef and other red meat can cause cancer. Red meat was classified in Group 2A, which includes agents that are probably carcinogenic to humans and certainly carcinogenic to laboratory animals, i...

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