Heme iron intake and colon cancer, part 1

April 29, 2011, Featured in Cancer and Natural Medicines, 0 Comments

Consumption of red and processed meat has been associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, a major cause of death in affluent countries. Scientists have offered a number of explanations for the link between red meat and colon cancer. One theory blames HCAs (heterocyclic amines), chemicals produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures. HCAs may play a role, but since high levels can also be present in cooked chicken, they are unlikely to be the whole explanation. In all cases the worry is confined to red meat, not chicken. Preservatives have also been implicated in the case of processed meats; nitrates are a particular worry, since the body converts them to nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.

Epidemiological and experimental evidence supports the hypothesis that heme iron present in meat promotes …