A new meta-analysis conducted by the researchers from the University of Oxford and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that red meat consumption is associated with colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer.
For this study, data from 475,488 cancer-free individuals, aged between 37-73, was collected in the UK Biobank. The analysis was based on social demographics, lifestyle, and gender-specific factors. The results, analyzed over a period of 5.7 years, revealed that 23,117 of the total participants were diagnosed with some form of cancer over the years. While the intake of red meat was shown to have an association with colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer, intake of processed meat was only linked to colorectal cancer. It also revealed that poultry intake increased the risk of malignant melanoma, prostate cancer, and Hodgkin lymphoma.
Researchers suggest that one should not completely stop the consumption of red meat, as the study results might also be affected by external factors like alcohol consumption or certain autoimmune diseases. The authors of the study added that these results “are not supported by most previous prospectives,” hinting at the requirement for further research in this regard.