Study Links Red Meat to Bowel Cancer

Posted on February 3, 2006

The BBC reports on a new study that has linked red meat consumption with damage to DNA damage and bowel cancer. The study found that people that ate two portions of red meat per day were three times a likely to get bowel cancer than people who ate red meat just once per week.

In the latest study the same Dunn team examined cells from the lining of the colon taken from healthy volunteers eating different diets.

They found higher levels of DNA damage in the cells taken from people eating red meat.

Work by the Open University team suggests the reason could be the presence of substances called N-nitrosocompounds, which form in the large bowel after eating red meat.

Their work suggests that these compounds combine with DNA, and alter it so that it is more likely to undergo harmful changes or mutations that increase the likelihood of cancer

Several experts and the Beating Bowel Cancer charity said the new study is more evidence of a red meat link to cancer while the UK's Meat and Livestock Commission downplayed the study's findings.

More from Science Space & Robots