When you include the American Institute for Cancer Research in your estate plans, you make a major difference in the fight against cancer.

Corporate Champions who partner with the American Institute for Cancer Research stand at the forefront of the fight against cancer

The Continuous Update Project (CUP) is an ongoing program that analyzes global research on how diet, nutrition and physical activity affect cancer risk and survival.

A major milestone in cancer research, the Third Expert Report analyzes and synthesizes the evidence gathered in CUP reports and serves as a vital resource for anyone interested in preventing cancer.

Whether you are a healthcare provider, a researcher, or just someone who wants to learn more about cancer prevention, we’re here to help.

AICR has pushed research to new heights, and has helped thousands of communities better understand the intersection of lifestyle, nutrition, and cancer.

Read real-life accounts of how AICR is changing lives through cancer prevention and survivorship.

We bring a detailed policy framework to our advocacy efforts, and provide lawmakers with the scientific evidence they need to achieve our objectives.

AICR champions research that increases understanding of the relationship between nutrition, lifestyle, and cancer.

AICR’s resources can help you navigate questions about nutrition and lifestyle, and empower you to advocate for your health.

AICR is committed to putting what we know about cancer prevention into action. To help you live healthier, we’ve taken the latest research and made 10 Cancer Prevention Recommendations.

May 12, 2017 | 3 minute read

Replacing your ham with fish may lengthen life, study suggests

A large new study of over half a million adults suggests that eating higher amounts of red and processed meat increases the chance of an earlier death from cancer and other causes, but replacing some of these meats with chicken, fish or other white meats lower the risk.

The study, published this week in The BMJ, adds to the evidence on how animal proteins affect our health.

For cancer risk, AICR research shows that high amounts of beef and other red meats increase risk of colorectal cancer. Even small portions of hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats eaten regularly increase the risk of both colorectal and stomach cancers.

In this BMJ paper, researchers used data from almost 537,000 participants of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-AARP Diet and Health Study who were drawn from six states along with the Atlanta and Detroit areas. When participants entered the study, at ages 50-71, they answered questions about what and how much they ate over the past year, along with questions about other lifestyle habits.

After almost 16 years, the more red and processed meats people consumed the higher the chance of a premature death. This is after taking into account diabetes, heart disease, BMI, physical activity and other factors that play a risk in mortality.

Those in the highest category of white meat intake had a 25% reduction of dying from any cause compared with the lowest intake level. About a quarter of the white meat people were eating was fish.

The researchers then looked at certain compounds in red meat and processed meats that earlier studies have pointed to for their link to poorer health: heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites.

Heme iron is the compound that gives red meat its color, and some research suggests it may damage the lining of the colon. Nitrates and nitrites are added to some processed meats to preserve color and prevent spoilage. In lab studies, these compounds form cancer-causing substances.

After calculating the amount of these compounds people consumed, the study found that heme iron and processed meat’s nitrates/nitrites independently linked with increased risk of dying from cancer, along with heart disease and all causes.

This is an observational study, meaning that it does not show a direct cause that consuming red and processed meat link to earlier death. And the study relied on a single dietary assessment at the beginning of the follow-up, so people’s diets could have changed.

But it does build on the research on how meats affect health, coming at a time when red meat consumption is rising. A USDA report last year predicted lower prices will increase beef and pork consumption in the coming years.

diet and prevention

For lower cancer risk, AICR recommends eating no more than 18 ounces of cooked red meat a week and avoiding processed meats.

Do you know what processed meat is? Take our quiz.

The study was supported by the Intramural Research Program in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, the US National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More From the Blog

Close