Research Says Eating Even One Steak a Week Can Cause Bowel Cancer

Are you a steak lover? If you're eating it regularly, you'll want to listen up. Oxford research has discovered that eating even one steak a week actually increases your risk of getting bowel cancer by more than two-fifths. The study involved 500,000 middle-aged men and women, proving to be one of the biggest in history to review the link between diet and bowl cancer.

What's your portion size? A typical one for red or processed meat is around 70g, while a quarter pounder burger comes in at a whopping 200g, which is almost three times this level. As for a 10oz steak, this is equal to 284g!

[bctt tweet="Steak lovers ought to listen up. These findings might turn you away for good. "]

Bowel cancer is a big issue in the UK, as it is the second-biggest cancer killer with 16,000 deaths per year. NHS guidelines have been pushing Britons to make diet choices that will help them to avoid cancer and other illness for years now, including eating five portion of fruits and vegetables a day.

 "We must not underestimate the importance of diet in reducing your risk of bowel cancer," said Mark Flannagan, chief executive of Beating Bowel Cancer. "The evidence suggests there is a strong link between red and processed meat and bowel cancer, so we recommend eating both in moderation."

Experts believe that the chemical haem in red meat damages the DNA of cells present in the digestive system, which results in the growth of tumours. And processes meat is linked to cancer due to the high levels of fat, salt and harmful additives.


Tracking the records of 500,008 British men and women aged 40 to 69 between 2006 and 2010, professor Tim Key and Dr Kathryn Bradbury of Oxford University had their participants fill out questionnaires regarding their meat intake in a week. What they found was that 1,503 of them had developed bowel cancer. And those who opted for red or processed meat four times a week were 42 percent more at risk. Those who ate it twice a week were 18 percent more at risk as opposed to vegetarians.


"People need to be aware of the risks and make modest changes if necessary. Eating things other than meat seems to be the sensible approach. So eating plant-based proteins such as beans, chicken or fish," said Professor Key.


It's important to note, however, that the questionnaires didn't ask how much red meat the participants ate, only how often. The researchers plan to further analyze this idea by creating an even more detailed survey of 200,00 men and women, in which they will ask them just how much meat they eat.

"This study adds to the evidence that regularly eating these meats can increase the risk of bowel cancer. This study suggested that how often people eat meat affects risk, but it only followed participants up [over] an average of less than four years. So we would need more detailed studies over a longer time to prove this conclusively," Sarah Williams, Cancer Research UK’s health information manager, said. steak

Government guidelines currently recommend that adults should eat no more than 70g of red or processed meat a day, as well as 500g throughout the week. These guidelines are likely to change due to the recent report from the World Health Organisation, which revealed that red and processed meat are actually much more dangerous than originally thought.

How much meat do you consume per week? Source: Daily Mail

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