We already knew that the consumption of red meat and deli meats was associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer, but a new study shows that the risk of developing cancer extends to any type of cancer. International cancer research centers recommend limiting consumption of red meat to 500g/week and 150g/week of cold cuts. In addition, the study reveals that antioxidant supplementation protects against cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (an institution dependent on the WHO), the World Cancer Research Found, and the National Cancer Institute in France have concluded that the risk of developing colorectal cancer is increased by excessive meat consumption. red and charcuterie. It is on the basis of this inventory that the High Council of Public Health has recommended, since last April, to limit the consumption of red meat (beef, veal, pork, lamb, game, etc.) to less than 500 g per week. and that of charcuterie at less than 150 g per week.
Red meat and deli meats implicated in other types of cancer
The impact of the consumption of red meat and cold cuts is not limited to the occurrence of colorectal cancers. A few studies on other types of cancer cast doubt on this. In particular, based on data from the SU.VI.MAX cohort (including the follow-up of 13,000 people), the nutritional epidemiology research team observed, in 2014, a significant effect of the consumption of cold cuts on the incidence of breast cancer among the 4,700 women in the cohort.
Today, these researchers are publishing the results of a study carried out this time on another cohort: NutriNet-Santé, comprising 61,476 people and more than 1,600 cases of incident cancer between 2009 and 2015. Intended to study the effects of diet on the health of the French, NutriNet has the advantage of providing very precise information on the eating habits of the participants. The latter indeed indicate every 6 months the details of their food consumption over 3 days (all the foods and drinks ingested as well as the size of the portions).
The results published in the International Journal of Cancer show that the risk of developing breast cancer increases with the consumption of red meat, and that this association exists more generally on the risk of cancer overall. Thus, the 20% of people who consume the most red meat (almost 100g/day on average) see their risk of developing cancer increase by 30% compared to the 20% who eat the least (40g per day on average) .
Antioxidant supplementation protects against cancer
Another lesson learned from the analysis of the SU.VI.MAX cohort was that antioxidant supplementation could offset, at least in part, the impact of the consumption of red meat and processed meats on the occurrence of cancer. Thus, no link was found between the consumption of red meat and breast cancer in women who received antioxidant supplementation. On the other hand, in the group having received a placebo, this link is observed and linear: the greater the consumption, the higher the risk.