The Jakarta Post
According to a new study in Britain, women can reduce their risk of developing colon cancer by avoiding red meat. (Shutterstock/Evgeny Karandaev)
According to a new study in Britain, women can reduce their risk of developing colon cancer by avoiding red meat.
As reported by Newsweek, researchers from the University of Leeds observed 32,147 women from England, Wales and Scotland. Their diet and health were followed over the course of 17 years.
The researchers found 462 cases of colorectal cancer, that is cancer that started in either the colon or the rectum.
The women observed in the long-term study were categorized into four dietary patterns, with 65 percent classified as red meat eaters, 3 percent as poultry eaters, 13 percent as fish eaters and 19 percent as vegetarians.
While vegetarians showed the lowest risk of any type of colon cancer, women that regularly ate red meat had higher rates of distal colon cancer. The cancer was found on the descending section of the colon, where feces is stored.
Read also: How not eating red meat can be unhealthy
According to UPI, poultry and fish eaters along with vegetarians in the study were generally younger, had a lower body mass index and were more physically active than red meat eaters.
"Our research is one of the few studies looking at this relationship, and while further analysis in a larger study is needed, it could provide valuable information for those with a family history of colorectal cancer and those working on prevention,” said Dr. Diego Rada Fernandez de Jauregui, part of the Nutritional Epidemiology Group at Leeds.
For years, red meats have been associated with colon cancer risk. They are known to contain compounds that can damage the intestinal lining and may increase cancer risk.
The Washington Post reported that eating more than 18 ounces (around 510 grams) of beef, pork and lamb a week is associated with a higher risk of colorectal cancer. Processed meats contain preservatives that, when eaten regularly, increase the risk of stomach and colon cancers. (wng)