Food for Thought: BBQ and Kidney Cancer

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A million years ago, give or take a few years, humans didn’t have to worry about dying of cancer after eating red meat. No, they had to worry about being eaten by the red meat.

Just recently, the World Health Organization linked processed meat to colorectal cancer.

Now, a study in the Journal of Cancer Research ties grilled and barbecued meat to a higher risk of kidney cancer.

Here’s what happened.

Researchers with Houston’s University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center looked at the diets and genetic information of patients with kidney cancer. Then, they compared the data with those of men and women who did not have kidney cancer.

When they did that, they discovered the patients with kidney cancer ate more red and white meat than the other folks. Specifically, meat cooked over an open flame, something health experts say creates carcinogens. But barbecued meat wasn’t totally to blame.

The MD Anderson researchers also found a certain genetic mutation that made the patients more vulnerable to kidney cancer.

And that suggested to them that genetics may also play a role.

Not to mention, which they didn’t mention, life styles, where you work, where you play, those kinds of factors.

Also, keep in mind, when trying to find a link between barbecue and kidney cancer, the researchers only looked at renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.

That’s why they tell us not to stop eating meat, but to eat it in moderation, in other words, don’t pig out on the pork, and whatever you do, don’t burn it.

That’s some pretty good food for thought.

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