Eating meat, smoking and alcohol are the main drivers of cancer says major study

Eating meat, smoking and alcohol are the main drivers of cancer says major study

A huge multicountry study announced its findings late 2013 in regards to lifestyle cause of cancer worldwide.

“This compelling new study clarifies the over-riding impact of smoking and animal product consumption as environmental determinants of global cancer risk.  In fact, it’s the most impressive evidence I’ve yet encountered indicting animal products per se as a major cancer risk factor.  It’s quite fortunate that smoking and animal product consumption is a lifestyle choice within our personal control”
Mark McCarty, Research Director of the non-profit Catalytic Longevity, December 2013.

“This is an important study showing strong relationships between meaty diets and cancer risk.  There’s a clear-cut lesson there for national food policies”
Neal Barnard, M.D., President of the Physicians Committee and on the faculty of the George Washington University School of Medicine.

The latest cancer incidence rates were assembled by the International Agency for Research on Cancer on behalf of the World Health Organization.

What did they discover?

  • For the 87 countries with the highest quality cancer data, those who smoked or ate animal products had over 50% of the cancer incidence rates
  • Smoking and eating animal foods explained 70% of the variation in all cancer less lung cancer rates between countries
  • Eating animal foods gave the strongest correlation for female breast cancer, corpus uteri cancer, kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, and multiple myeloma
  • For men, the smoking index was twice as important as the animal product index
  • However for women, the animal product index was twice as important
  • Alcoholic intake was linked to cancer also at a lower amount

The famous 1975 Armstrong study also found the link between animal foods and the risk factor for breast cancer in young women. 
Armstrong B, Doll R. Environmental factors and cancer incidence and mortality in different countries, with special reference to dietary practices. Int J Cancer. 1975;15:617-31.

Interestingly, in 1907 a study reported in the New York Times found that cancer rates were much higher among people in ethnic groups such as Germans, Irish, Scandinavians, and Slavonians, who were considered meat eaters, while cancer rates were lowest for Italians and Chinese, who were practically vegetarians.

The traditional Japanese diet once derived just 10% of its calories from animal products, primarily seafood such as fish.  Over the past 20-30 years, Japan has made the nutritional transition to the Western diet.  Rates of cancer types common in Western countries rose considerably in Japan during the past 20-30 years.

Study by Moukayed M, Grant WB “Molecular link between vitamin D and cancer prevention” as published in Nutrients. 2013;5(10):3993-4023.  Also study by Grant WB “A multicountry ecological study of cancer incidence rates in 2008 with respect to various risk-modifying factors” as published in Nutrients. 2014;6(1):163-189.  Also, study by Tantamango-Bartley Y, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fan J, Fraser G. “Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population” as published in Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013;22:286-94.  The rigorous study was from 87 countries with high quality cancer incidence rate data as well as all 157 countries with cancer incidence rate data for various types of cancer as compared statistically with indices for various risk modifying factors, with dietary supply data was obtained from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations from 1980-2008.  As reported on December 28, 2013 by from a release by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Posted: Thursday 20 February 2014