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Does red meat cause cancer?

There is no scientific evidence that unprocessed red meat, taken in the right quantities and as part of a varied diet, is a certain carcinogen. For some categories such as children and pregnant women it is a very important food for providing the necessary nutrients such as iron and vitamin B12.

Red meat is a hotly debated food. The debate about its real risks and benefits is increasingly heated, supported by scientific studies that associate its consumption with an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer and other diseases wagyu online.

In 2015, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) – the World Health Organization agency that is responsible for evaluating and classifying evidence of carcinogenicity of substances – defined red meat as probably carcinogenic and processed meat as definitely carcinogenic , especially with respect to the appearance  of colorectal cancer but also other types of cancer, for example, pancreatic, breast, stomach and  prostate , although for the latter the data collected are still insufficient. All the studies considered were conducted only on the adult population.

First, it is important to distinguish between:

red meat , the muscular part of beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat

processed meat , meat subjected to salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes such as the addition of preservatives (nitrites and nitrates) to improve its flavor or preservation (cured meats, sausages, canned meat, etc.)

The dangerousness of meat, in terms of carcinogenic effect, seems to depend above all on the processing methods (dangerous substances such as nitrates and nitrites can be added) and cooking methods (cooking at high temperatures, for example on the grill, or frying, determine the formation of potentially harmful substances).

It should be noted that epidemiological studies offer data of scientific correlations which cannot be interpreted as evidence of a cause and effect relationship. This means that we can speak of an increased risk, and therefore an increase in the probability that the disease will appear, when red or processed meat is consumed, but it cannot be said that the disease will certainly appear as a result of their consumption. It should be emphasized that the increased risk of the appearance of cancer depends on the quantity and frequency of consumption of these foods.