Certain Starches May Decrease Risk of Cancer From Red Meat

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According to a new study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, some starches lower the risk of developing cancer caused by consuming substantial amounts of red meat. Karen J. Humphreys, PhD, of the Flinders Center for Innovation in Cancer at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, and lead investigator studied the effects of eating a diet composed of large amounts of red meat and resistant starches.

 

The control group consumed 300 grams of lean red meat daily while the intervention group ate that plus butyrylated high amylose maize starch for 4 weeks. Resistant starches are found in lentils, chickpeas, cooled potatoes, whole grains, slightly green bananas, seeds, and beans.

 

Gut bacteria ferment these starches to produce butyrate. Levels of miR17-92 cluster miRNAs and miR21, oncogenic microRNAs, and cell proliferation were increased in rectal tissue samples whereas the miR17-92 levels were at baseline in the protective starch group. Increased levels of butyrate were found in the starch group.

 

Consuming large amounts of red meat is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer; however, eating starches that can confer the beneficial compound butyrate may be a simple approach to reducing the risk of developing cancers linked to the consumption of large amounts of red meat.

Eating Red Meat May Raise Breast Cancer Risk
Eating large amounts of red meat is linked to a higher risk of colon cancer.
Eating large amounts of red meat is linked to a higher risk of colon cancer.

Karen Humphreys, PhD, from the Flinders Center for Innovation in Cancer at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia, tested the effects of adding resistant starches to a high red meat diet.

When only the red meat was eaten, levels of cancer-causing microRNAs were elevated in rectal tissue, as was cellular proliferation.

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