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Colorectal cancer risk from red or processed meat

Published on 28/10/2013

People with a common genetic variant may increase their risk of colorectal cancer by consuming red or processed meat, according to a US study.

Red meat has been linked to cancer risks

The study also found that eating more fruit, vegetables and fiver had the opposite effect on another specific genetic variant.

The report was presented at the annual American Society of Human Genetics 2013 meeting and involved extensive research on more than 18,000 people. There were 9,827 patients suffering with colorectal cancer and 9,117 healthy individuals who were researched for the study.

US researchers studied 2.7 million genetic sequences to discover whether there was link between developing colorectal cancer and the consumption of red and processed meat.

The study concluded that the genetic variant rs4143094, which affects 1 in 3 people, showed there was a significant risk of colorectal cancer linked to consuming processed or red meat.

This particular genetic link is located on the same chromosome as another gene that has previously been linked many other forms of cancer.

Experts have commented that the study does mean people without the genetic variant should eat lots of red or processed meat.

Jane Figuerido, assistant professor at the University of Southern California, said: "People with the genetic variant allele have an even higher increased risk of colorectal cancer if they consume high levels of processed meat, but the baseline risk associated with meat is already pretty bad."

Red meat has been linked to an increase in cardiovascular problems, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Prof Figuerido said: "Colorectal cancer is a disease that is strongly influenced by certain types of diets.

“We're showing the biological underpinnings of these correlations, and understand whether genetic variation may make some people more or less susceptible to certain carcinogens in food, which may have future important implications for prevention and population health."

Health insurance can help with your dietary requirements and some providers will reduce your premiums if you eat healthily.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2013

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