(NaturalNews) Red meat consumption increases the risk of both stomach and esophageal cancer, according to a study conducted by researchers from the nonprofits World Cancer Research Fund and Cancer Research, and published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
The researchers questioned 494,979 U.S. residents between the ages of 50 and 71 about their lifestyle and diet habits, including consumption of red meat and their favored cooking methods, then followed them for approximately 10 years.
They found that after adjusting for potentially confounding factors such as age, exercise, smoking and weight, participants who ate the most red meat had a 79 percent higher risk of developing a cancer of the upper esophagus known as esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Participants who ate the most food containing higher levels of one type of heterocyclic amine (HCA) had a 44 percent higher risk of a cancer of the upper stomach known as gastric cardia.
HCAs are carcinogens formed when meat is cooked at high temperature. The HCA monitored in the study is called DiMelQx.
Prior studies looking for a link have had mixed results because they failed to look at different varieties of stomach and esophageal cancer separately, the researchers said. No connection was found between red meat consumption and other such cancers, which have separate risk factors. Adenocarcinoma of the lower esophagus, for example, is more strongly linked to smoking and heavy drinking.
High red meat consumption has also been linked to other severe health problems, including heart disease and other forms of cancer.
"[One] study of more than 90,000 women found that the more red meat the women consumed in their twenties, thirties, and forties, the greater their risk for developing breast cancer fueled by hormones in the next twelve years," writes Gabriel Cousens in his book There Is a Cure for Diabetes.
"Those who consumed the most red meat had nearly twice the risk of those who ate red meat infrequently. "