Causing meat. Sausage really cancer?Do red meat and sausages increase the risk of developing colorectal cancer? How much meat can you eat at all, or is it better to do without?? We answer the most important questions on the subject.
A report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – a sub-organization of the World Health Organization (WHO) – has caused much controversy and also confusion in recent days. Is eating meat as harmful as smoking? How much meat can you eat at all without concern? We have the six most frequently asked questions. Answers summarized for you.
1. What counts as processed meat?
Processed meat is meat that has been altered by processing procedures such as salting, smoking, maturing or. fermenting, or other processes to improve its flavor or make it more durable. Mostly pork, beef or poultry meat, but also offal is included. Sausages, hams, ground meat products and canned meats are processed meats.
2. What is red meat?
Red meat refers to beef, lamb and pork. This does not include poultry meat and fish.
3. How surely do processed meat or red meat cause intestinal cancer??
IARC scientists have investigated the certainty that red meat or processed meat can be a trigger for colorectal cancer. For this they analyzed over 800 studies. The results summarized. The safety or weight of evidence. evidence) of the statements was evaluated.
Processed meat was classified as category 1 " carcinogenic to humans".
That is, there are sufficient, convincing Evidence that processed meat triggers colon cancer in humans. Substances such as tobacco smoke or asbestos also fall into the same group. However, this means Not, That eating meat causes as many cases of cancer as smoking, for example. But the scientific evidence for the carcinogenic effect is equally strong.
Red meat has been classified as category 2 " probably" carcinogenic to humans.
This means that the evidence is not as reliable as for processed meat.
4. How high is the risk of getting colorectal cancer from eating meat?
The evidence that processed meat triggers colorectal cancer is as good as that for tobacco smoke. However, the risk of developing colorectal cancer from meat consumption is much lower than the risk of developing lung cancer from smoking. This graph shows this clearly.
While 86 percent of all lung cancer cases in the U.K. are caused by smoking, only 21 percent of all colorectal cancer cases are triggered by the consumption of processed and red meat. This means that there must be many other possible triggers for colorectal cancer. Overall – scientists estimated in 2011 – about 3 out of every 100 cases of cancer (a total of approx. 8.800 per year) in the UK are caused by eating too much red and processed meat, but 19 out of every 100 cancer cases are caused by smoking (ca. 64.500 cases per year).
5. How much does the risk of colorectal cancer increase for people who eat more processed meat than others??
IARC study shows that colorectal cancer risk increases with the amount of processed meat eaten. The researchers estimate from the data that with an additional 50 grams of processed meat per day, the risk of developing colorectal cancer increases by 18 percent. This sounds like a lot, but it's important to ask: 18 percent of what?? So, what is the risk of developing colorectal cancer at any time in one's life??
In Germany, the risk of developing colorectal cancer is slightly different for men and women. Thus, on average 70 out of 1.000 men but only 57 out of 1.000 women ever develop colorectal cancer in their lifetime. For men who eat 50 grams more processed meat per day than the average population, this increases the risk by 18 percent to about 82-83 out of 1.000, i.e. 12-13 additional cases per 1.000 men (for women: of 57 out of 1.000 to about 67 out of 1.000 women, i.e. about 10 additional cases).
6. Can red or processed meat still be recommended at all if you want to eat healthily??
"The dose makes the poison" – this old insight from Paracelsus also applies to meat consumption according to today's evidence. An occasional meat meal is unlikely to increase the risk of cancer. However, those who eat large amounts of red and processed meat over many years are at additional risk.
Exactly how much meat is safe with regard to the risk of colorectal cancer, this question can unfortunately not be answered to this day. What is certain, however, is that the less meat you eat, the less risk you run. But the guideline values for the amounts vary from country to country.
If other health and environmental considerations are taken into account in addition to the risk of colorectal cancer, the German Nutrition Society (DGE), for example, recommends eating no more than 300 to 600 grams of meat per week, i.e., 40 to 80 grams per day. However, the reality is different: In Germany, men eat more than 1.000 g of meat, meat products and sausages per week. Women are at the upper limit at just under 600 grams per week.