Cancer Risk of Red Meat

Majid Ali, M.D.

How Real Is Cancer Risk of Red Meat?

A reader asks me about cancer risk of red meat. Heres is my answer:

Cancer risk of red meat is real. Below is the text summarizing the main conclusion of a very large study about the risks of read meat published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. In addition to the cancer, this study also documented cardiovascular risk of such meat.

Cancer Risk of Red Meat

We estimated that substitutions of 1-serving per day of other foods (including fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy, and whole grains) for 1-serving per day of red meat were associated with a 7%-19% lower mortality risk. We also estimated that 9.3% of deaths in men and 7.6% in women in our cohorts could be prevented at the end of follow-up if all individuals consumed <0.5 serving/d (≈42 g/d) of red meat.

Inspite of the above, I do not say No to read meat dishes under certain circumstances. I explain this in the companion article linked below.


Pan A, Sun Q, Bernsetin AM et al. Red Meat Consumption and Mortality: Results from Two Prospective Cohort Studies. Arch Inter Med. 2012;172:555-563.






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