Eating Saturated Fats Could Be Linked to Higher Small Intestine Cancer Risk
Saturated Fats Also Linked to Small Intestine Cancer
by Reuben Chow
Saturated fats, often also referred to as bad fats or unhealthy fats, have unfortunately become a significant part of the average modern day diet. And a study recently published in Cancer Research has added to their long list of negative health effects. It revealed that a high intake of saturated fats increases one’s risk of developing cancer of the small intestines.
Details of Study
Even though the small intestines make up the majority of the entire digestive tract, the development of cancer there is relatively uncommon. Thus, previous research on the effects of eating red and processed meats had largely centered on colorectal cancer. This is said to be the first prospective study for small intestine cancer.
The study had looked at data collected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – AARP Diet and Health Study. According to Wikipedia, AARP is an organization which is widely known for addressing issues that affect older Americans. It used to be called the American Association of Retired Persons, but its name was changed to the letters “AARP” in 1999 in order to reflect the fact that its focus had broadened beyond just American retirees.
In all, information on 294,707 men and 199,293 women was analyzed. They had filled in a diet questionnaire back in 1995, which included information on meat and fat intake, after which the participants were tracked by the NIH-AARP study either up till 2003, until they were diagnosed with cancer, or until they passed on. The median follow-up period of the study was 7.5 years.
Findings of Study
The study found that those with the highest intake of saturated fat were 3.18 times more likely to develop carcinoid tumors in the small intestines, as compared to those with the lowest intake of the bad fats. That is a massive elevation in risk.
No statistically significant association was, however, found between the consumption of red or processed meats with cancer of the small intestines. Even then, it must be noted that red and processed meats had, in previous studies, been linked with increased risk for other cancers, such as those of the colon, rectum, stomach and esophagus.
The findings of this study are important because, while still relatively rare, small intestine cancer figures have been rising since the 1970s. “Identifying modifiable risk factors for cancer of the small intestine is important not only because the incidence of this cancer is on the rise, but it may enable us to further understand other gastrointestinal malignancies,” said Amanda Cross, the National Cancer Institute researcher who led the study.
As it is, the list of diseases which saturated fats are guilty of contributing to is already rather long. Separate studies have linked the consumption of saturated fats to many diseases including, among others: various cardiovascular conditions, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), coronary heart disease and heart attacks; unhealthy cholesterol levels; strokes; as well as cancers, including breast cancer and colon cancer.
Now, small intestine cancer can also be added to that danger list. That is one more reason for us to reduce consumption of foods high in these bad fats, including red meat, processed meat, dairy, cheese and butter.
Study ties saturated fat to small intestine cancer (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27847390/)
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