No announcement yet.

Are there studies re: Primal style eating and colon cancer

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Are there studies re: Primal style eating and colon cancer

    OK, so I am going to flaunt my lack of knowledge in this area. For years I have heard the old "red meat will kill you" mantra from doctors. Red meat in particular is linked to colon cancer. I'm not a researcher so when I google stuff I find arguments both for and against. Don't know enough science nor do I have enough research skills to unravel the truth. So I thought that I would just ask.

    Primal/paleo style eating is healthy in so many ways. I believe one of the important keysin thisdietary lifestyle is the quality of the protein and veggies we consume. Organic, grass fed, exercise, sunshine etc
    --all the cool stuff Mark talks about--.

    Have any studies been done with long term paleo/primal eaters to prove or disprove the red meat = colon cancer story?

    Thank you in advance for filling in my knowledge gaps.

  • #2
    Don't know of any studies specific to your question, but in digging around some on that claim, I found that "red meat" is invariably hopelessly conflated with processed meats—and those are probably contributing heavily to the findings. If the study's definition of "red meat" includes hot dogs, lunch meats, and the like, it is not an accurate examination of the research question, IMO. Those meatlike substances are very different even from CAFO-produced steaks, much less grassfed meat.
    “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford

    My primal journal


    • #3
      Here's my take, it doesn't work for everyone but in my situation things are pretty simple: I am fat. Nothing is as likely to kill me as being fat. It works every time, including this: being fat makes me more likely to have colon cancer than eating "red meat." So if Primal, Paleo, low-carb, or whatever you want to label it reduces my fattage, I win.

      Now, when you come to the red meat and cancer link it isn't quite so easy to just write it off to conflating healthy meat and fast food burgers (though absolutely that conflation is part of the problem), because there is an identifiable carcinogen created when meat is charred. So not burning meat would be prudent.
      “In God we trust; all others must bring data.” W. Edwards Deming
      Blogging at


      • #4
        Those studies are typically garbage science due to confounding factors and the "correlation does not equal causation" problem.

        Grab a few thousand typical red-meat eaters and the population will include people doing a very unhealthy, non Paleo/Primal diet. Meat often goes with fried foods, bread, pasta, lots of beer, sugary BBQ sauce, you name it. Plus, the quality of the meat and how its raised and processed matters.

        Google search-
        Does Red Meat Cause Colon Cancer? : Naked Food Cooking

        That Paleo Guy: Carnosine, Colons, and Cancer

        I narrowly avoided colon cancer myself in 1991. I had colitis and colon cancer was developing. I attribute the start of it to grains, and it flared up due to taking an antibiotic I was allergic to and didn't know it. Since I was eating some red meat too, if I would have become a statistic, some egghead would have blamed it on red meat. Multiply that times a few thousand other people like that and its easy to see why the studies are just wrong.

        Until someone PROVES that eating red meat the Paleo/Primal way is a direct cause, it ain't so. I doubt anyone will ever be able to.

        I think the best explanation is that grains in the diet cause inflammation, this increases your risk of bowel diseases and cancer, and that people draw the wrong correlations.