Already linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, including cancer of the pancreas, red meat was found by a team of US researchers to be a possible cause of bladder cancer.
For the study, scientists assessed the intake of nitrates, nitrites and other components found in red meat, in some 300,00 men and women aged 50-71 year, in eight US states, and its relation to cancer.
The study participants were followed up for up to eight years. During that time, 854 were diagnosed with cancer of the bladder.
For those who can’t do without their bacon-cheeseburger, some good news: scientists found no associations between beef, bacon, hamburger, sausage or steak and bladder cancer.
But they did observe a positive association for red meat cold cuts and bladder cancer.
The culprits in the cold cuts are nitrates and nitrites which are added to meat when it is processed to preserve and enhance color and flavor.
The scientists found that people whose diets were high in nitrites had a nearly a 30 percent greater chance of developing bladder cancer than those who consumed the lowest amount of either compound.
What’s the bottom line: If you are at risk for bladder cancer or you have had bladder cancer, I suggest that you restrict your intake of red meat and cold cuts. Your bladder will thank you!