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May 9, 2014 • Cancer Prevention

Processed Red Meat and Colon Cancer

Processed red meat (think bacon, sausage, bologna, etc.) has a long and illustrious rap sheet and boosting colon cancer risk is at the very top of the list. In a ground-breaking new study that included over 18,000 people from around the globe, scientist identified a common gene variant that appears to significantly increase the chances for developing this deadly disease in those consuming processed meats. Based on this large analysis, the gene variant is very common and affects one in three people. Given the prevalence of this genetic predisposition and the fact that no clinical tests are available to screen for it, it is best that everyone stay away from processed meats. For additional motivation to make this move, keep in mind that processed meats have also been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, premature death, and other cancers. (PLoS Genetics, 2014; 10 (4))