A large multi-ethnic study analyzed data from 190,545 men and women at the Cancer Research Center at the University of Hawaii. In an average follow-up time of 7 years there were 482 incidents of pancreatic cancer, and it became obvious that processed meats play a role in the increase of pancreatic cancer. After taking other risk factors into consideration like a positive family history, age, smoking and diabetes mellitus, those patients who consumed the largest amount of processed meats had a 67% increased risk for pancreatic cancer as opposed to those who had the lowest intake of these foods. A diet rich in red meats increased the risk by about 50%.
Poultry, fish, dairy products and egg intake showed no pancreatic cancer risk factor, nor did it matter how much fat, saturated fat or cholesterol was consumed over the 7 year observation period.
The lead investigator of the study, Dr. Ute Noethlings, observes that the risk increase is a consequence of the meat preparation with carcinogens. The main culprit would very likely be sodium nitrite, which is a preservative that also enhances the meat color.
For the consumer it means taking a critical look at processed meats before picking up sausages with your next shopping. Read the labels, avoid sodium nitrite. Your pancreas will thank you for it!
More information on pancreatic cancer: http://nethealthbook.com/cancer-overview/pancreatic-cancer-pancreas-cancer-or-cancer-of-the-pancreas/
Reference: The Medical Post, May 17, 2005, page 50
Last edited October 28, 2014