Eating meat does not raise brain cancer risk

September 30, 2009 in Cancer Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Eating meat does not raise brain cancer risk

Adults who eat a lot of meat and meat products may not have a heightened risk of the most common type of cancerous brain tumor, suggests a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

This study looked at the potential link between brain tumors and people's intake of meat and meat product compounds called nitrosamines. Researchers used data from three large ongoing health studies of health professionals whose diets and lifestyle habits have been periodically surveyed for up to three decades.

Nitrosamines, which are potentially cancer-promoting, are formed in the body when we eat nitrites and nitrates found processed and cured meats like hot dogs, bacon, sausage and ham.  

Of the 238,000 men and women in the study, just 335 were diagnosed with brain cancer.

There were no links between the risk of developing this type of cancer and intake of meat, processed meat, nitrites, nitrates or nitrosamines.

What's more, there was no elevated risk among meat lovers who also had low intakes of antioxidants like vitamins C and E - which slow down the formation of nitrosamines in the stomach.

Even if there is no connection to brain cancer risk, previous studies have linked high intake of red and processed meat to a number of diseases, including heart disease and colon, stomach and breast cancers.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.