Meat has long been regarded as a potential cause of cancer. But what exactly is the problem in the flesh? It was long believed, only processed meat products as sausages increase the risk of cancer. Now the scientists have discovered, however, a substance in the unprocessed meat that could belong to the cancer cause.
Meat increases the risk of cancer
Especially the consumption of red meat is associated with various health problems like cancer for a long time. That sausage and other processed meat products are among the cancer-causing foods, it is proven.
Especially colon and stomach cancer is more common if you like and frequently eat meat products. Just as well as lung and liver cancer.
As the cause of cancer-causing nitrosamines was considered, the preference could be developed from the existing nitrite in treated meats.
Prof. Ajit Varki and his team from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have now found another potentially carcinogenic substance in the flesh.
Carcinogenic: A carbohydrate in the flesh
Red meat contains a carbohydrate called Neu5Gc. This carbohydrate is found in most animal organisms, but not in the human body. The Californian researchers suggest that Neu5Gc could be responsible for the increased cancer risk from eating meat. In their study, special mice were used, which have no Neu5Gc in the body – just like people – and therefore their organisms react to the human body. The animals were fed with beef, pork, and lamb. These meats are known to contain a lot of Neu5Gc.
Now, it was found that the Neu5Gc is transported through the bloodstream into tissues and are deposited therewith adverse consequences, such as the study course showed. Although the mice were exposed to other cancer triggers, many of them developed liver tumors after the consumption of Neu5Gc-contained in meat. The liver is an organ in which Neu5Gc is deposited. Overall, the risk of cancer increased fivefold compared to a Neu5Gc-free food.
Meat promotes chronic inflammation
Prof. Varki and his colleagues explain that the organism identified the Neu5Gc as a foreign body and forms as immune reaction antibodies against them. The next time you eat meat, the immune system recognizes the foreign body. It comes to re-antibody formation pronounced immune response and then to inflammation. Today many people almost daily have meat-based dishes up on their plates, which imperceptible in the beginning, develop chronic systemic inflammation.
“Systemic” means inflammation in the entire body
Inflammation that circulates throughout the body may cause long-term extremely negative consequences for health, cancer being one of those consequences. Also, the development of atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes may be the result of chronic inflammation. Most likely, therefore, also plays in these diseases regular consumption of Neu5Gc contained in meat.