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Meat increases kidney cancer risk

Eating red meat increases a person's risk of developing the most common type of kidney cancer, while eating vegetables has a protective effect.

Meat increases kidney cancer risk

Eating red meat increases a person's risk of developing the most common type of kidney cancer, while eating vegetables has a protective effect. Previous studies on diet and renal cell carcinoma (which accounts for 85 percent of kidney cancers) have shown inconclusive results. Therefore, researchers from America compared 335 patients with renal cell carcinoma with 337 healthy controls to investigate whether certain types of foods or food groups influenced the risk of renal cell carcinoma. The study participants reported how frequently they ate a variety of different foods. It was found that people who ate lots of white bread and white potatoes had a higher risk of the disease than their peers who ate these foods less frequently. The relationship was particularly strong among women. While eating spinach and other greens, as well as tomatoes, reduced cancer risk in all the participants, especially men, white potatoes (including both fried and non-fried) increased it with the strongest effects seen in women. White bread also increased the cancer risk, with the strongest association seen in women. Those who ate white bread five or more times a week were three times more likely to develop renal cell carcinoma than women who ate white bread less than once a week. The researchers found no relationship between fruit and dairy food consumption and renal cell carcinoma. However, both men and women who ate red meat five or more times a week were more than four times as likely to develop the disease as compared to people who consumed red meat less than once a week. Foods that affected the cancer risk did so due to their high glycaemic index. Glycaemic index indicates how quickly the blood glucose level rises after eating a particular food. Foods with a high glycaemic index are known to affect insulin resistance and also insulin-like growth factors. The researchers concluded that meat consumption increased the risk of renal cell carcinoma and vegetables provided the protective effect. However, fruits and dairy products had no such relationship.
Journal of the American Dietetic Association
April 2009
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