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It’s been well publicised that eating too much processed or red meat can lead to cancer. However, new research has claimed that a dietary supplement can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, meaning it’s possible to eat as much meat as you want, without the damaging ingredients causing any damage – as it is cancelled out by the dietary supplement.
Studies have found that people who regularly consume bacon, ham, salami, pepperoni or even sausages are almost twice as likely to develop breast cancer. However, the odds seem to level out if they take a daily pill made up of vitamins and minerals known to boost the immune system.
The French research team, from the University of Sorbonne Paris Cite, examined the case histories of almost 5,000 middle-aged women who took part in the study between the years of 1994 and 2007. Of the participants, 50% were given a daily capsule containing the vitamins C and E as well as zinc, selenium and beta carotene. The remaining 50% were given a placebo pill. In total, only 190 of the women that were partaking in the study went on to develop breast cancer.
The research revealed that a higher-processed meat intake was associated with increased breast cancer risk in the group of participants that received the placebo drug, but the same risk didn’t occur in those who were taking the vitamin supplements. The study revealed that: ‘This suggests that supplemental and possibly dietary antioxidants may counteract the potential pro-carcinogenic effects of processed meats.’
Studies in the past have conflicted and contrasted over whether there is a link or correlation between eating red or processed meat and the development of breast cancer, but these studies, and those involving lab rats, suggest that vitamins and minerals play a vital and important role in the development of this condition, but this is the first study to try out the theory within humans.
These research findings have been warmly welcomed by breast cancer campaigners. The senior policy officer at Breakthrough Breast Cancer said: “The results of this study are interesting as we need to understand more about what causes breast cancer and how to try and prevent it. It has already been proven that women can reduce their breast cancer risk by maintaining a healthy weight, limiting the amount of alcohol they drink and participating in regular physical activity. And we do know that everybody should follow a varied, balanced diet for general health and wellbeing that includes fruit, vegetables, pulses and whole grains, alongside limited red meat, processed meat, animal fat, sugary or fatty processed food, salt and alcohol.”
This news will no doubt be a relief for many breast cancer patients or those at a higher risk of developing breast cancer to hear. With the right diet intake, and supplements which could potentially ‘cancel out’ the cancer-causing carcinogenics within red and processed meat, everyone can enjoy the ability to eat what they want.