Chicken Dioxins, Viruses, or Antibiotics?

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The association between poultry and cancer may be explained by the presence in chickens’ and turkeys’ flesh of industrial carcinogens such as dioxins, oncogenic (cancer-causing) viruses, and/or the drugs that were fed to the birds.

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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? The reasons are unclear. Certainly there are industrial carcinogens, like dioxins, that may increase risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and have been found in meat and dairy. But the study did not observe an increased risk in association with high milk consumption, so that’s probably not it.

“Secondly, poultry may contain oncogenic [or cancer-causing] viruses, especially if the meat is not cooked well.” And it’s interesting; there are actually studies in the U.S. reporting a lower risk of lymphoma in women consuming well-done meat. You’d think it’d be the other way around, because of the heterocyclic amines—the cooked meat carcinogens created when you grill chicken—but not if it’s the viruses in chicken that are responsible.  Then, the hotter you cook it, right, the more viruses you wipe out.

“Oncogenic animal viruses [cancer-causing animal viruses] have been suspected as causes” of lymphoma among farmers and slaughterhouse workers, but this is just preliminary: “meat consumption has not been connected with transmission of oncogenic viruses yet.”

And their third theory why poultry was so significantly associated with blood and lymph node cancers is, maybe it’s because chickens and turkeys are often treated with antiparasitic drugs and antibiotics, to enhance growth of the animals, and to treat and prevent disease—especially given the conditions in which many of them are now raised. And indeed, antibiotic use has sometimes been associated with the risk of lymphoma.

“However, it is unclear whether the association between antibiotic use and cancer risk is [cause and effect], and, more importantly, whether antibiotic use in food animals can affect cancer risk in human beings.”

Bottom line, we just don’t know yet why the cancer-chicken connection.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Benimoto via flickr

Why was there so much more lymphoma and leukemia risk among those eating just a small serving of chicken a day? The reasons are unclear. Certainly there are industrial carcinogens, like dioxins, that may increase risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and have been found in meat and dairy. But the study did not observe an increased risk in association with high milk consumption, so that’s probably not it.

“Secondly, poultry may contain oncogenic [or cancer-causing] viruses, especially if the meat is not cooked well.” And it’s interesting; there are actually studies in the U.S. reporting a lower risk of lymphoma in women consuming well-done meat. You’d think it’d be the other way around, because of the heterocyclic amines—the cooked meat carcinogens created when you grill chicken—but not if it’s the viruses in chicken that are responsible.  Then, the hotter you cook it, right, the more viruses you wipe out.

“Oncogenic animal viruses [cancer-causing animal viruses] have been suspected as causes” of lymphoma among farmers and slaughterhouse workers, but this is just preliminary: “meat consumption has not been connected with transmission of oncogenic viruses yet.”

And their third theory why poultry was so significantly associated with blood and lymph node cancers is, maybe it’s because chickens and turkeys are often treated with antiparasitic drugs and antibiotics, to enhance growth of the animals, and to treat and prevent disease—especially given the conditions in which many of them are now raised. And indeed, antibiotic use has sometimes been associated with the risk of lymphoma.

“However, it is unclear whether the association between antibiotic use and cancer risk is [cause and effect], and, more importantly, whether antibiotic use in food animals can affect cancer risk in human beings.”

Bottom line, we just don’t know yet why the cancer-chicken connection.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Benimoto via flickr

Doctor's Note

See my prequel video, EPIC Findings on Lymphoma, and Vegetarians Versus Healthy Omnivores on general cancer rates and industrial pollutants in meat, seeVegetarians Versus Healthy Omnivores. For more on industrial pollutants in meat, see Harvard’s Meat and Mortality Studies, and Prevention Is Better Than Cured Meat. For more on cancer-causing viruses, see Breast Cancer Survival; Butterfat, and ChickenMeat Additives to Diminish Toxicity; and Carcinogens in the Smell of Frying Bacon. And for more on drug residues in meat, see Drug Residues in Meat. The mass use of antibiotics in chicken feed may also be contributing to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (for example, see U.S. Meat Supply Flying at Half Staph).

For further context, please check out my associated blog posts: Treating an Enlarged Prostate With DietHow To Reduce Dietary Antibiotic Intake; and How Tumors Use Meat to Grow.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

4 responses to “Chicken Dioxins, Viruses, or Antibiotics?

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  1. See the “prequel,” EPIC Findings on Lymphoma, and the one before it on general cancer rates. For more on industrial pollutants in meat, see Vegetarians Versus Healthy Omnivores, Harvard’s Meat and Mortality Studies and Prevention Is Better Than Cured Meat. For more on cancer-causing viruses, see Breast Cancer Survival, Butterfat and Chicken, Meat Additives to Diminish Toxicity and Carcinogens in the Smell of Frying Bacon. And for more on drug residues in meat, see Drug Residues in Meat. The mass use of antibiotics in chicken feed may also be contributing to the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria (for example, see U.S. Meat Supply Flying at Half Staph). There are also hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects.




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