WCRFI Logo We are often surrounded by investigations which conclude that consumption of red and processed meat increases risk of death and cancers. To further enlighten about the probable harmful impact of red meat, scientists found that red and processed meat raise the chances of being diagnosed with bowel cancer. They also suggest that foods containing fibre can protect against bowel cancer.

All through the study, scientists focused on examining the seeming association between bowel cancer risk and diet, physical activity and weight. Around 263 new papers on bowel cancer were included into the 749 that were analyzed as part of the 2007 Report. In order to figure out the influence of red and processed meat, 10 new studies were added to the 14 studies analyzed as part of the 2007 Report. On completion of the investigation, it was concluded that both red and processed meat increase bowel cancer risk.

“Our review has found strong evidence that many cases of bowel cancer are not inevitable and that people can significantly reduce their risk by making changes to their diet and lifestyle. Because our judgements are based on more evidence than ever before, it means the public can be confident that this represents the best advice available on preventing bowel cancer. There has been a lot of debate over the last few years about the strength of evidence that red and processed meat increase risk of cancer. We hope our review can help give clarity to those people who are still confused about the strength of the evidence. On meat, the clear message that comes out of our report is that red and processed meat increase risk of bowel cancer and that people who want to reduce their risk should consider cutting down the amount they eat,” said Professor Alan Jackson, Chair of the WCRF/AICR Continuous Update Project (CUP) Expert Panel.

According to the WCRF/AICR’s recommendations, people must limit consumption to 500g (cooked weight) of red meat a week. This appears roughly equivalent of five or six medium portions of roast beef, lamb or pork. However, processed meat has to be completely avoided. To ascertain the positive impact of foods containing fibre for patients suffering from bowel cancer, seven more studies were comprised to the existing eight from the 2007 Report.

In conclusion, it was confirmed that while red and processed meat elevate the risk of bowel cancer, foods with fibre diminish the same.