Processed meats raise risk of cancer
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Hot Dogs Raise Risk of Pancreatic Cancer - Study
Apr. 20, 2005 - A diet containing lots of processed meats, like hot dogs and sausages, raises the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a large multiethnic study unveiled on Wednesday.
The researchers found that heavy consumers of processed meats -- 40 grams a day or more -- were 67 percent more likely to develop cancer of the pancreas than study participants with the lowest intake.
In addition, a diet rich in pork and red meat -- 70 grams a day or more -- also increased pancreatic cancer risk by about 50 percent, according to the survey-based study.
But the American Meat Institute disputed the findings, pointing out that a study published earlier this week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reached an opposite conclusion.
"The most important fact is that the larger body of evidence has shown that processed meats are a healthy part of a balanced diet," the trade group said in a statement.
Dr. Ute Nothlings, the study's lead investigator from the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, said "the results suggest that carcinogenic substances related to meat preparation, rather than their inherent fat or cholesterol content, might be responsible ...."
She noted, however, that the study did not examine cooking methods and her team is now working to collect that data.
This seven-year study examined the relationship between diet and pancreatic cancer in 190,545 men and women of African-American, Japanese-American, Caucasian, Latino and Native Hawaiian descent.
"An analysis of fat and saturated fat intake showed a significant increase in risk for fats from meat, but not from dairy products, indicating that fat and saturated fat are not likely to contribute to the underlying carcinogenic mechanism," Nothlings said.
She suggested that chemical reactions that occur during the preparation of processed meats might be responsible for the association.
The results were reported a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Anaheim, California.
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