In a study of a half million people, which was most associated with the risk of developing lymphoma? Red meat, processed meat, poultry, offal, eggs, or milk?
Yes, the incidence of all malignant cancers combined was lower among fish-only eaters and vegetarians compared to the healthy meateaters, but the most striking difference between the dietary groups was in the risk for the group of cancers that include lymphomas and myeloma. Since they factored out other lifestyle differences between the meateaters and vegetarians—similar smoking exercise weight fruit and veggie consumption—they concluded that meat itself may be the culprit, potentially due to the mutagenic compounds or viruses in meat, but that raises the question, what type of meat?
To get at that level of detail you would need to look at a lot of people, so they enrolled the help of not just any study but the EPIC study, E.P.I.C., the largest forward-looking study on diet and cancer in human history, following a half a million people for over ten years now.
What type of meat was the worst? They looked at red meat—beef and pork—processed meat, like bacon, ham and sausage, poultry—chicken and turkey, also offal, which, true to its name, means entrails and organs- in practical terms liver heart kidneys, pancreas blood, thymus, brains, stomach feet, tongue tail as well as the head and eyeballs. They also looked at eggs and dairy. Which was most significantly associated with the risk of developing lymphoma? Red meat, processed meat, poultry, offal, eggs, or milk?
It was poultry consumption, associated with a significantly increased risk of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, all grades of follicular lymphoma, B-cell lymphomas in general, including B-cell chronic lymphatic leukemia (including small lymphocytic leukemia and prolymphocytic lymphocytic leukemia.
Up to triple the rates for every 50 grams of daily poultry consumption. A cooked chicken breast averages 220 grams, so that’s for just a quarter of a chicken breast worth of poultry.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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Why was there so much more lymphoma and leukemia risk among those eating just a small serving of chicken a day? That's the subject of my nextNutritionFacts.org video-of-the-day (coming on Monday). And see yesterday’s video for a discussion of overall cancer rates. The EPIC study also compared obesity rates in omnivores, flexitarians, vegetarians and vegans. See Thousands of Vegans Studied. There are also hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects.
For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Poultry and Penis Cancer, Poultry Paunch: Meat & Weight Gain, Treating an Enlarged Prostate With Diet, Eating Green to Prevent Cancer, How To Reduce Dietary Antibiotic Intake, and How Tumors Use Meat to Grow