Does Eating Meat Increase Your Risk For Uterine Cancer?

Endometrial cancer risks slightly increased by diets high in animal protein

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) You may have read that animal protein – particularly red meat – is associated with cancer. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell makes an impressive case. According to some, the type of iron in meat is what makes the difference.

There is a slight association between uterine cancer and the type of iron found in meat, total iron and liver consumption.

The iron in meat is known as heme iron and plant-based iron is called non-heme iron.

"Eat less meat and more vegetables."

Researchers at Columbia University looked for any links between endometrial (uterine) cancer risks and heme iron, total iron intake and consumption of different types of meat.

They examined the records of nearly 61,000 women who participated in Swedish Mammography Cohort.

During a 21-year follow-up, 720 of the women developed uterine cancer. For this group, that’s an absolute risk of 0.012 percent (720/61000).

Women who had long-term higher intakes of heme iron, total iron and liver meat had a 20-30 percent increase in endometrial cancer risk.

No sizeable association was seen with red and processed meat consumption and uterine cancer risks.

These risks were not affected when participants were grouped by BMI (body mass index), childbirth history, alcohol consumption, vitamin C or zinc intake, or when women with diabetes were excluded.

This study was published September 5 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Financial information was not made available to the public.

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Review Date: 
September 13, 2012
Last Updated:
September 13, 2012