Too much meat `raises bowel cancer risk`

Cutting down on meat and exercising regularly could help reduce bowel cancer cases by 43%.

London: Cutting down on red and processed meat besides exercising regularly could help reduce bowel cancer cases by 43 per cent, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has suggested.

In its "the most authoritative ever report of bowel cancer risk" today (MON), the WCRF recommended that people limit their intake of red meat to 500g a week, or just over a
pound in weight.

That is "roughly the equivalent of five or six medium portions of roast beef, lamb or pork", the charity said, adding that people should "avoid processed meat" altogether,
the Daily Telegraph reported.

The WCRF also suggested that people need to do daily exercise and eat more fibre to gain maximum benefit.

The advice is based on analyzing 24 separate studies looking at meat consumption and bowel cancer incidence.

Alan Jackson, professor of nutrition at Southampton University, who chaired the expert panel, said: "On meat, the clear message that comes out of our report is that red and
processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer and that people who want to reduce their risk should consider cutting down the amount they eat."

New findings meant the charity could now say there was "convincing" evidence that eating fibre-rich foods like fruit and vegetables protects against bowel cancer.

A previous report in 2007 said this was a "probable" effect. It concluded there was convincing evidence that being physically active reduces bowel cancer risk.

Speaking about the new report, Teresa Nightingale, general manager of the WCRF, said: "We estimate that about 43 per cent of bowel cancers cases in the UK could be prevented
through these sorts of changes. That is about 17,000 cases every year."

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Britain, after breast and lung cancer. It causes about 15,000 deaths a year.


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