Swedish researchers from the Karolinska Institute reviewed 15 previous studies, and found that the risk of developing stomach cancer -- which accounts for one-tenth of total cancer deaths -- increased by 15 to 38 percent if processed meat consumption increased by just 1 ounce per day.
The 15 studies -- which examined more than 4,700 people between 1966 and 2006 -- led researchers to the "unequivocal" conclusion that eating more processed meats leads to a greater risk of stomach cancer, the fourth-most common type of cancer.
"Nobody has carried out this type of analysis into processed meats and stomach cancer," says Susanna Larsson, one of the study's authors. "And our results from a mean value show very clearly that there is an association between increased consumption of processed meat products and stomach cancer."
Mike Adams, author of Grocery Warning, has been sounding the alarm about the dangers of processed meats -- and the dangerous additive sodium nitrite -- for years. "This new evidence adds to the existing body of scientific findings that show processed meats are extremely dangerous to human health. In addition to boosting pancreatic cancer risk by 76 percent and boosting the risk of brain tumors in children by 300 percent, these processed meats are now being shown to heighten the risk of stomach cancer by as much as 38 percent from eating just one ounce per day. These findings should be alarming to both federal health regulators and consumers. Routinely eating bacon, sausage and hot dogs is almost as dangerous to your health as smoking cigarettes," he adds.
The researchers say processed meats often have cancer-causing nitrates added to them to extend shelf life, and are often salted or smoked. Larsson says she hopes further studies of processed meats' link to stomach cancer will reveal more details about the interaction between the two.