Even moderate portions of red meat can cause cancer, study finds

Eating red and processed meat even within recommended guidelines can increase a person's risk of developing bowel cancer research from the University of Auckland has shown

Eating red and processed meat even within recommended guidelines can increase a person's risk of developing bowel cancer research from the University of Auckland has shown

Even moderate amounts of ham, bacon and and red meat are linked to bowel cancer, experts have warned.

Eating a lot of red meat - like beef, lamb or pork - also increases the risk, it revealed.

The research, conducted by the University of Auckland and the University of Oxford surveyed half a million United Kingdom men and women aged between 40 and 69.

According to BBC, it found that eating three rashers of bacon a day rather than just one could increase the risk of bowel cancer by 20%.

NHS recommendations say that people who eat more than 90g (cooked weight) of red and processed meat per day cut down to 70g. During this time, 2,609 people developed bowel cancer.

Even those who broadly follow government advice and eat 76 grams of red and processed meat a day, equivalent to a slice of roast beef and a rasher of bacon, are 20 per cent more likely to develop the cancer than those who only eat 21g a day, the study found.

There was some good news however, with those people having a high intake of fibre from bread and breakfast cereals lowering their risk of bowel cancer by 14%.

The World Health Organisation have said that processed meat ranks alongside smoking as major cause of cancer, while red meat has been classified as a "probable" cause of cancer. One in 15 men and one in 18 women born after 1960 in the United Kingdom will receive a diagnosis of the disease in their lifetime.

"Most previous research looked at people in the 1990s or earlier, and diets have changed significantly since then, so our study gives a more up-to-date insight that is relevant to meat consumption today".

It has always been linked to heavy consumption of red meat - especially processed types.

"Although breaking habits we've had for a long time can be hard, it's never too late to make healthy changes to our diet".

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