Too much salt beef can hurt you

Eat foods in mod­er­a­tion

The Compass - - NEWS - CLAY­TON HUNT edi­tor@the­

If you’re like a lot of New­found­lan­ders you en­joy an oc­ca­sional jiggs din­ner with plenty of salt beef in the mix and you en­joy a bit of salt beef with a turkey din­ner.

How­ever, ac­cord­ing to a study by doc­tors at Me­mo­rial Uni­ver­sity’s School of Medicine, we should not eat a lot of salt beef as a high con­sump­tion of the prod­uct might lead to col­orec­tal (ko-lo-rec-tal) can­cer.

The study, which was re­leased on­line on May 27 in ‘Can­cer Causes Con­trol’, shows that pick­led red meat con­sump­tion is sig­nif­i­cantly as­so­ci­ated with an in­creased risk of col­orec­tal can­cer.

Col­orec­tal can­cer is the third most com­mon type of can­cer in Cana­dian men and women and is ex­ceeded only by lung can­cer and breast can­cer. Peo­ple in New­found­land and Labrador have the high­est rate of col­orec­tal can­cer at 86 per 100,000 com­pared to a na­tional av­er­age of 62 per 100,000.

Dr. Peter Wang, the prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor of the study, said, “It is gen­er­ally be­lieved that di­etary habits are a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor to col­orec­tal can­cer and are re­spon­si­ble for at least 30 per cent of col­orec­tal can­cer cases.

“How­ever, lit­tle is know about how the ef­fects of red meat in­take on col­orec­tal can­cer vary across pop­u­la­tions and the as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween pick­led reed meat and col­orec­tal can­cer has not been ad­e­quately ex­am­ined.”

How­ever, Dr. Wang did re­port that the study shows a pos­i­tive as­so­ci­a­tion be­tween the con­sump­tion of pick­led meat and col­orec­tal can­cer. The re­port shows, too, that the more salt beef one con­sumes, the higher the risk is of that in­di­vid­ual get­ting col­orec­tal can­cer.

Dr. Wang said that two com­mon pick­led meats in the pro­vin­cial diet are trimmed naval beef and cured pork ri­blets. These meats in­clude sodium ni­trite as one of the pre­serv­ing agents, and it has been sug­gested that ni­trite/ni­trate com­pounds can be con­verted to car­cino­genic com­pounds.

Dr. Bar­bara Roe­botham, is a di­eti­cian, a re­searcher and teaches at Me­mo­rial’s School of Medicine. She was one of the doc­tors who worked on the study that links the con­sump­tion of salt beef to col­orec­tal can­cer.

Dr, Roe­botham said, “ When we looked at diet we looked at all kinds of foods that peo­ple con­sume. One of the things that seemed to be linked with col­orec­tal can­cer was that the high­est rates of col­orec­tal can­cer was among peo­ple who had con­sumed a lot of salt beef.”

“A very im­por­tant point to re­al­ize in this,” Dr. Roe­botham said, “is that peo­ple who con­sume mod­er­ate to small amounts of salt beef don’t seem to be af­fected at all by their in­take of the food. The bad news is mainly for peo­ple who con­sume a lot of the prod­uct.

“In ad­di­tion, this type of study or data can’t give you cause and ef­fect, our re­search can’t say for cer­tain that peo­ple who con­sume salt beef will get col­orec­tal can­cer. The col­orec­tal can­cer a per­son may have, who did con­sume a lot of salt beef, may not have ac­tu­ally been caused by the con­sump­tion of that par­tic­u­lar food. All it says is that peo­ple who con­sume a whole lot of the food have a higher risk of get­ting the dis­ease than peo­ple who con­sume mod­er­ate t o small amounts.”

Dr. Roe­botham said that some of the causes of col­orec­tal can­cer in New­found­land and Labrador might be due to a ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tion in some fam­i­lies, which means that this type of can­cer might run in some fam­i­lies.

She said that this re­search or study tell us two im­por­tant points about col­orec­tal can­cer.

“Peo­ple from fam­i­lies which have an his­tory of col­orec­tal can­cer should not give up just be­cause it is in their fam­ily. There are sig­nif­i­cant things peo­ple can do to lower their chances of get­ting col­orec­tal can­cer such as eat­ing a var­ied diet and ex­er­cis­ing,” she said.

“An­other point to re­al­ize is that we’ve got to eat things in mod­er­a­tion, that we should eat a var­ied diet and not just fo­cus on one or two main foods.”

Dr. Roe­botham said that she hopes that no one be­came stressed out over the re­port and is now wor­ried about eat­ing any salt beef at all.

“ There’s no need for any­one to ac­tu­ally give up eat­ing salt beef al­to­gether as small or mod­er­ate amounts of the food will prob­a­bly do you no harm at all.”

Dr. Roe­botham, a New­found­land girl who likes the oc­ca­sional meal of salt beef, said, “I will still be hav­ing the oc­ca­sional meal of salt beef, but I will eat it in mod­er­a­tion as part of a well bal­anced healthy diet.”

A study by doc­tors at Me­mo­rial Uni­ver­sity’s School of Medicine, we should not eat a lot of salt beef as a high con­sump­tion of the prod­uct might lead to col­orec­tal (ko-lo-rec-tal) can­cer.

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