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  • Red meat

    HI Grokkers,

    Has anyone read this news item? I heard it on the radio coming into work and just found it on Google. Is there any truth in this or is it tosh?

  • #2
    "Red meat contains substances that have been linked to bowel cancer. One compound in particular, haem, which gives red meat its colour, has been shown to damage the lining of the colon in some studies."

    Haem, or heme in the US, is a hemoprotein present in ALL animal tissues. It's derived from hemoglobin, a component in blood. It's basically the iron we get from eating meat, and the foods highest in heme are oysters, mussels, pork livers, and chicken livers, followed by "meats". This iron is more readily absorbed by the body than plant irons.

    Under oxidative stress the heme separates from the protein compound and can contribute to the production of free radicals, programmed cell death, and inflammation. That's just what I gathered in a half hour of internet research. There is no information suggesting that this compound CAUSES any disease, and the iron is actually vital to our survival. It's the processing and cooking of the meats that separates the compound in the first place, by oxidation.



    • #3
      wheat causes cancer, period the mother@#!$ing end.
      I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


      • #4
        They aren't even clear what they are talking about - red meat, or processed meat? And anyhow I'm not re-organizing my entire diet and lifestyle to slightly reduce the risk of bowel cancer, even IF anything in there is true. Since when am I on the "bowel cancer avoidance diet" to the exclusion of any other health concerns?
        You gotta eat something and I vote for ribeye.
        If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least and this (personal fave):


        • #5
          No worries for me. I read this "news release" and immediately wondered about the veracity of the study and/or its interpretation by the media.

          Things like: "The average person has a risk of bowel cancer of five in 100 but this rises to six in 100 if they eat 50g of processed meat a day" as the "news release" says, makes me wonder about what the real report has to say.

          What I notice here is that there is only a 1% increase for eating this amount of processed meat. Who knows how small that increase might be for eating unprocessed meat? (The authors of the "news release" seem to be saying that processed meat is worse; note where they write, "people should avoid processed meats altogether because of the even higher risk of bowel cancer").

          Other things to consider might be the number of persons in the study, the controls, who funded the study, etc.

          I guess my view is to look at the broader picture. And to eat a wide variety of foods in general. Heck, you could still 4 steaks a week (if a steak is 145 g and they "allow" 500 g of red meat a week) and be within those guidelines. I don't eat 4 steaks a week, but YMMV. Still, it's a pretty generous window considering we all should be eating fish, poultry, and eggs as well as beef and pork (not sure where lamb falls into the "colors" of meat--I suppose it is "red," too).

          For my money, the data I am finding on paleo/primal eating is much more convincing than anything I am hearing from the CW these days. They lost their credibility with the low-fat/high-carb thing they have been pushing for the past 30 years or so.
          Everything I eat has been proved by some doctor or other to be a deadly poison, and everything I don't eat has been proved to be indispensable for life. But I go marching on. ~George Bernard Shaw

          Starting Weight (1/3/2011): 189
          Current Weight: 173

          Goal: To be in the best shape ever by age 50! (5/11/2012)