This news calls for an immediate attention from meat lovers, especially who love eating red meat. A new study has found that consumption of red meat may raise the risk of cancer.
The researchers at the University of California in San Diego conducted the new study and found that red meat can trigger cancer risk as it contains a certain kind of chemical that can play a big role in causing tumour formation. The cancer causing chemical is called Neu5Gc, a type of sugar that naturally occurs in most mammals but not in human beings.
For the study, a group of scientists conducted several experiments on mice modules that were injected with Neu5Gc doses. The researchers found that Neu5Gc doses promoted the growth of spontaneous cancers in a remarkable manner in those mice.
With the study, the researchers wanted to explain that red meats, like pork, beef and lamb, contain a rich amount of Neu5Gc that cannot be naturally accepted by our body. The sugar can be distributed to tissues all over the body via blood.
It has already been discovered that animal Neu5Gc can be easily absorbed into human tissues.
In the current study, the researchers hypothesised that the consumption of red meat could cause inflammation if the immune system of the body constantly generates antibodies against Neu5Gc.
Scientists say chronic inflammation accelerates the process of tumour formation. During the study, the researchers’ team engineered mice in order to mimic humans wherein they didn’t have their own Neu5Gc and produced antibodies against it. When the researchers exposed these mice to Neu5Gc, they developed systemic inflammation. The researchers also observed that the spontaneous formation of tumour also increased five-fold and Neu5Gc collected in the tumours.
Ajit Varki, principal investigator and professor and member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Centre, said, “This is the first time we have directly shown that mimicking the exact situation in humans – feeding non-human Neu5Gc and inducing anti-Neu5Gc antibodies – increases spontaneous cancers in mice.”
The findings of study were published in the journal PNAS.