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Saturday, 14 January 2012

Causage and bacon can give you cancer

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There’s nothing like sausage and bacon for breakfast, but can they give you cancer?

Researchers now say that eating a single serving of processed meat every day could increase your risk of pancreatic cancer. The risk is small, but cutting down on your processed meats is still probably not a bad idea.

Based the findings from seven different studies, Swedish researchers found that the risk of pancreatic cancer was 19 percent greater among people who ate roughly 4 ounces of processed meat per day. That’s equivalent to about one link of sausage or four pieces of bacon per day. The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Pancreatic cancer affects roughly one in 65 men and women, according to the National Cancer Institute, but due to the fact that it’s usually progressed to an advanced stage by the time it’s detected, the five-year rate of survival is just 5.5 percent.

Processed meats have also previously been tied to colon and bladder cancer, and due to the fact that they’re often high in salt and fat, they can increase the risk of other health problems as well.

The cancer risk, though, is likely due to nitrites, chemical preservatives broken down in the stomach and carried to the pancreas through the bloodstream. If you’re hooked on processed meat, you could at least look for products that don’t have nitrites.

The American Meat Institute Foundation maintains that processed meats are “a healthy part of a balanced diet” and that nutrition decisions should be based on the total body of evidence, as opposed to single studies.

“Too often, epidemiological findings are reported as ‘cased closed’ findings, as if a researcher has discovered the definitive cause of a disease or illness,” AMIF president James Hodges said in a statement.

“All of these studies struggle to disentangle other lifestyle and dietary habits from meat and processed meat and admit that they can’t do it well enough to use their conclusions to accurately recommend people change their dietary habits. What the total evidence has shown, and what common sense suggests, is that a balanced diet and a healthy body weight are the keys to good health.”

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