The study also showed that processed meat, such as sausages or bacon, posed a greater risk than red meat, with the risk of colorectal cancer increasing 20% with every 25 grams of processed meat (roughly equivalent to a thin piece of bacon) people ate day and by 19% with every 50 grams of red meat (a thick piece of roast beef or the edible piece of a lamb chop).
"A small amount of processed meat seems to have the same effect as a large amount of red meat," said Professor Tim Key, co-author of the study, and is deputy director of the University of Oxford's cancer epidemiology unit.
According to Britain's National Heal th Service (NHS), a slice of ham contains 23 grams of processed meat while a grilled 8 oz steak contains 1
Cancer Research UK, which partially funded the research, said that the current NHS guidance states that people who eat more than 90 grams (boiled weight) of red and processed meat a day should reduce this to 70 grams – the average consumption per day in the UK.
The study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, tracked the dietary habits of nearly half a million British adults between 40 and 69 years of age, and their dietary habits were examined over five years on average. During this time, 2,609 of the participants developed colorectal cancer.
This latest research adds to a body of evidence linking red and processed meat with an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
"Our findings strongly suggest that people who eat red and processed meat four or more times a week are at higher risk of developing intestinal cancer than those who eat red and processed meat less than twice a week. "Key said.
] He said previous research had looked at people in the 1990s, but "dietary habits have changed significantly since then, so our study provides a more up-to-date insight relevant to meat consumption today," he in a press release.
Another factor that increases the risk of colorectal cancer is alcohol, the study found. The study also said that fiber from bread and breakfast products was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer starting in the colon or rectum.
Dr. Gunter Kuhnle, associate professor of nutrition and health at the University of Reading in the UK, said this is the "biggest study ever in the UK."
Kuhnle, who was not involved in the research, said the findings "confirm previous findings that both red and processed meat consumption increases the risk of colorectal cancer."
Dr. Julie Sharp, head of health information at the Cancer Research UK charity, said the government's red and processed meat guidelines are "general health advice, and this study reminds us that the more you can cut it down, the more you can lower Your chances of developing bowel cancer. "
She suggests reducing red and processed meat by trying meat-free Mondays or recipes using fresh chicken and fish.