Cancer warning: The ingredient ‘most consistently linked’ to cancer – ‘definite cause’

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The risk factors for cancer are multifactorial, meaning there is no “one size fits all” approach to prevention. Several rules, however, ought to be abided by. According to various healthy bodies, one ingredient often found lodged between two slices of bread “definitely” causes cancer.

Doctor Andrew Chan, associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Health, said: “Red and processed meat has been the dietary factor most consistently linked to colon cancer.”

The danger stems mainly from how the meat is cooked, however.

When exposed to high heat, meats release several compounds that promote disease.

Processed meats, however, are packed with harmful additives like nitrites and sulphites, which are thought to be heavily involved in the development of cancer.

READ MORE: Cancer: The specific type of body pain that is one of the ‘most common’ warning signs

They contribute to the disease by feeding the gut bacteria that fuel the development of cancer.

“Although there’s no strict guideline as to how much you should limit red meat for cancer prevention, less is always better,” notes Harvard Health.

Cancer Research UK reiterates the dangers of eating red and processed meat but suggests one is more dangerous than the other.

“Whatever the underlying mechanism, there’s now sufficient evidence for IARC to rule that processed meat ‘definitely’ causes cancer and that red meat ‘probably’ causes cancer,” notes the body.

Processed meat is classified as a “definite” cause of cancer, meaning it is labelled a Group 1 carcinogen.

This is the same group smoking and alcohol are classified under.

Red meat, on the other hand, is a Group 2 carcinogen, a group it shares with “shift work”.

Which dietary factors protect against the disease?

As a rule of thumb, any cancer-fighting should comprise a wide range of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Although sourcing the correct nutrients is important, focus should also be placed on maintaining a healthy weight.

Coupled with a regular exercise routine, making the correct dietary substitutions can help shed excess weight.

White bread, for example, should be swapped out for 100 percent whole grain.

There are several studies that support the hypothesis that intake of calcium and vitamin D lowers the risk of colon cancer.

A minimum amount of 700 milligrams of calcium, 30 nanograms per millilitre confers the best protection, according to existing research.

Although both nutrients can be sourced from supplements, diet is recommended as the optimal source.

An additional source of vitamin D, however, is sunlight on the skin.

Omega 3-fatty acids, and flavonoids, are also necessary to prevent tumours from growing.

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