March 1st, 2011
By: Andrew Schneider
Unless there is something really different between the digestive systems of Yanks and Brits, hamburger lovers on both sides of the Atlantic are about to be told to hold down the number of beef patties they gobble down.
It has more to do with reducing your chances of getting cancer than it does with making your love handles smaller.
Under new British Department of Health guidelines that are about to be issued, the Scientific Committee on Nutrition has cautioned grown-ups not to eat more than 17.5 ounces of red meat each week. That’s a bit more than four Quarter Pounders. They warn that consumers who eat red meat in excess are at risk of developing cancer later in their lives.
AOL News checked with several government and academic diet and nutrition websites, and most reported that the average American and Canadian ate 100 to 150 hamburgers a year, which is pretty much in line with what the English are about to report. And, of course, that doesn’t include steaks, roast beef and all the other sorts of red meat and pork.
The report is going to recommend that those who eat more than 5 ounces of meat a day should cut back to about 3 ounces daily, and that includes breakfast meats.
Next week’s release is a follow-up to a draft report released 18 months ago. That research concluded that cutting the consumption of red and processed meat — and they included pork, beef, lamb and goat — could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Last year, England’s top medical officer told reporters that a 30 percent reduction in eating meat could save more than 18,500 lives a year, according to the BBC.
The Scientific Committee on Nutrition, a group of independent government advisers, was asked by the British health department to review and add its own recommendations to the 2009 draft.
Next week’s report will also address limits on ham, bacon, sausage and other processed meats.
What may drive devoted dieters over the edge is that earlier this month there was a lot of media attention on a meat study conducted by the British Nutrition Foundation. It reported that most adults ate “healthy amounts” of red meat and that a link to cancer was “inconclusive” at best.
The swirl of conflicting meat studies has been going on for years, with several linking eating too much meat with not only cancer but also a number of other diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. However, other research has warned that not eating enough meat can cause iron deficiency, especially in women.
December 27th, 2010
By: David Gutierrez
The FDA has begun investigations into whether the widely used diabetes drug pioglitazone (marketed as Actos) may increase the risk of bladder cancer.
Actos is already known to carry a risk of “serious side effects on the liver,” writes Phyllis A. Balch in the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, 4th Edition. Nevertheless, the drug has remained one of the top-prescribed diabetes drugs because although it also increases patients’ risks of heart failure, it is only half as likely to produce heart attacks as its primary competitor Avandia (rosiglitazone).
Following years of controversy, the FDA recently prohibited the prescription of Avandia except as a last resort in cases where all other diabetes drugs and treatments have failed.
According to a five-year study by Actos manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals, patients taking the drug had a non-statistically significant, 20 percent higher risk of bladder cancer diagnosis. The risk was higher among patients who had been taking the drug for more than two years, and was highest among those who had been exposed to the highest levels.
Although the results of this study did not reach statistical significance, they were enough to spur the FDA to investigate further. Two prior clinical trials and a laboratory study in rats have also pointed to a link between the drug and bladder cancer.
Rates of Type 2 diabetes continue to rise worldwide with worsening diet and an ensuing higher prevalence of obesity. Studies have linked higher consumption of red and processed meats, eggs and fruit juice with a higher risk of the disease. Higher intake of coffee, fish, garlic, brown rice, turmeric, omega-3s and certain micronutrients have been linked with a lower risk.
In addition to eating a balanced diet, more exercise and more time in the sun (leading to higher vitamin D levels) are among the most reliable ways to reduce diabetes risk.
December 2nd, 2010
By: S.L. Baker
As NaturalNews has covered previously and extensively, one of the unhealthiest things you can eat is processed meats. In fact, a World Cancer Research Fund report entitled Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective concluded that all people should immediately stop eating processed meats because the chemicals those products contain are strongly associated with causing cancer and other health problems.
However, these chemicals have long been considered absolutely necessary in the processed meat industry because they kill the growth of disease-causing organisms in these food products. But now it turns out those chemicals may not even be needed, after all. The reason? Researchers at the Food Safety Consortium at the University of Arkansas (UA) Division of Agriculture have discovered that extracts from green tea and grape seeds can be used instead of chemicals as a means of protecting against pathogen contamination in processed foods. So far, they’ve tried the natural extracts in chicken and turkey hot dogs and found they work fine.
“Food preservation systems often use chemicals and heat treatments to reduce the risk of bacterial food poisoning outbreaks and food spoilage,” Navam Hettiarachchy, a UA food science professor who led the research project, explained in a media statement. “But consumers prefer minimal processing and natural tasting foods without additives. Natural extracts can accomplish the same goal without compromising taste or food safety.”
Hettiarachchy said that evidence has accumulated showing that a variety of culinary ingredients, including many spices, have antimicrobial properties and can protect against food borne sickness. In their studies, the Food Safety Consortium research team showed that the natural plant compounds inhibited the growth of Listeria monocytogenes on hot dogs when combined with reduced levels of chemical preservatives.
However, they explained that it may be possible to completely replace chemical preservatives eventually with natural plant extracts — especially if the natural compounds are combined with other technologies such as heat treatments. They are also researching whether encapsulating the natural extracts in nanoparticles could make them even better pathogen-fighters in processed meats.
While using natural substances to control pathogens in processed foods is clearly a healthier choice than chemicals, the smartest way to protect health could be avoiding meat — especially the processed, non-organic variety — totally. A case in point: a study published in the journal Circulation earlier this year found consuming these products greatly raises the risk of heart disease and diabetes. What’s more, processed meats like hotdogs and luncheon meats recently have been linked to leukemia in children, too.
January 26, 2010
Many processed foods contain too much salt, and sauces, spreads, and processed meats are the top offenders, new research shows.
People who consume lots of salt are more likely to see their blood pressure rise as they get older, with a corresponding increase in their heart disease risk.
Public health officials are increasingly looking to the food industry for help in cutting people’s salt intake; the United Kingdom and France, for example, have been able to achieve significant reductions in salt consumption through industry collaborations, while New York City has just launched a campaign to cut US salt intake by 25 percent over the next five years.
Similar efforts are now underway in Australia, and some companies have begun to reduce the salt content of some of their products, according to Dr. Jacqueline L. Webster and colleagues from the George Institute for International Health in Sydney, Australia.
To help guide such efforts, the researchers gathered data on the sodium content of 7,221 products in 10 food groups, 33 categories, and 90 subcategories.
According to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, foods were considered to be high in sodium if they contained more than 500 milligrams of sodium for every 100 grams, while foods with sodium contents below 120 milligrams of sodium for every 100 grams were classified as low sodium.
The researchers found dramatic variation in salt content within certain food categories. For example, the saltiest type of hard cheese had six times more sodium than the least salty type, while there was a 14-fold difference in salt content within the sliced meat category and a 100-fold difference within the frozen potato product category.
Sauces and spreads, at 1,283 mg per 100 g, and processed meats, at 846 mg per 100 g, were the categories with the highest average sodium content.
Sodium content was lowest for cereals (206 mg per 100 g) and fruits and vegetables (211 mg per 100 g). Nearly two-thirds of the 33 food categories had average sodium concentrations that were higher than the maximum standards set by the UK Food Standards Agency, while breads, processed meats, sauces and canned vegetables included many subcategories above these targets.
December 2, 2009
By Paul Louis
A report based on data from 12 pooled cohort studies on heavy meat diets was led by Dagfinn Aune from the University of Oslo and published in the journal Diabetologia. The study determined that the high intake of processed meat may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 41 percent.
This new meta-analysis was conducted jointly from Norway and the US. The general conclusions of the study suggested that: “High intake of total meat increased the risk of diabetes by 17 percent, while red meat and processed meat were associated with 21 and 41 percent increases in diabetes risk.”
One of the primary purposes of this study was to resolve, ” . . . inconsistencies from previous studies which found both positive and negative associations between meat consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Barry Popkin from the University of North Carolina described the study as “excellent’ and he went on to say that it “reiterates the concerns echoed in other major reviews and studies on the adverse effects of excessive meat intake”.
The higher rate of diabetes risk from processed meats can be attributed to the nitrates used as preservatives. Other studies have documented that nitrates cause beta cell toxicity. Beta cells are involved with the production of insulin. Consequently, their ability to produce insulin is blocked by nitrate induced toxicity.
Animal model studies proved that low doses of nitrosamine streptozotocin induced type 2 diabetes. Nitrosamines are formed by the nitrates interacting with amino acids in the stomach.
Earlier studies have documented negative health consequences with heavy meat eating. The US National Cancer Institute (NCI) has warned that “. . . high intakes of red and processed meats may raise the risk of lung and colorectal cancer by up to 20 percent.” And the World Cancer Research Fund has reported a direct link to cancer with alcohol, red and processed meats. They also found that heavy red and processed meat eaters risked earlier death.