Eating processed meat boosts diabetes risk by 40 percent

Wednesday, December 02, 2009 by: Paul Louis, staff writer
Tags: processed meat, diabetes, health news

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(NaturalNews) A report based on data from 12 pooled cohort studies on heavy meat diets was led by Dagfinn Aune from the University of Oslo and published in the journal Diabetologia. The study determined that the high intake of processed meat may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 41 percent.

This new meta-analysis was conducted jointly from Norway and the US. The general conclusions of the study suggested that: "High intake of total meat increased the risk of diabetes by 17 percent, while red meat and processed meat were associated with 21 and 41 percent increases in diabetes risk."

One of the primary purposes of this study was to resolve, " . . . inconsistencies from previous studies which found both positive and negative associations between meat consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes."

Barry Popkin from the University of North Carolina described the study as "excellent' and he went on to say that it "reiterates the concerns echoed in other major reviews and studies on the adverse effects of excessive meat intake".

The higher rate of diabetes risk from processed meats can be attributed to the nitrates used as preservatives. Other studies have documented that nitrates cause beta cell toxicity. Beta cells are involved with the production of insulin. Consequently, their ability to produce insulin is blocked by nitrate induced toxicity.

Animal model studies proved that low doses of nitrosamine streptozotocin induced type 2 diabetes. Nitrosamines are formed by the nitrates interacting with amino acids in the stomach.

Earlier studies have documented negative health consequences with heavy meat eating. The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) has warned that ". . . high intakes of red and processed meats may raise the risk of lung and colorectal cancer by up to 20 percent." And the World Cancer Research Fund has reported a direct link to cancer with alcohol, red and processed meats. They also found that heavy red and processed meat eaters risked earlier death.

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