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Does Red Meat Cause Cancer?...Soma hapa!

Discussion in 'JF Doctor' started by Ab-Titchaz, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2009
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    Wamaasai mpo hapo?

    Kenyans eat too much red meat


    A Maasai elder enjoys a piece of meat

    Posted Tuesday, March 31 2009 at 20:27

    Many Kenyans may be eating too much red meat, which, according to a new study, could be the cause of many cancers, heart diseases and premature deaths.

    Unfortunately, the local chicken, which could provide an alternative, may not be safe, according to recent studies. A significant amount of those sold in Nairobi were found to contain high levels of bacteria resistant to several human antibiotics.

    The largest study on effects of red meat on health, covering half a million Americans for more than a decade, says eating more than five ounces per week could raise the risk of dying from cancer or heart disease by as much as 22 per cent and 27 per cent respectively.

    Status symbol

    Kenyans, especially men in major towns, are known to take about half a kilogramme of meat (about 16 ounces) daily.

    The amount of meat eaten by Kenyans either at home or outside is almost a status symbol but the new study may provide food for thought and a rethinking on overindulgence in red animal protein.

    The study also covered red meat found in hamburgers. Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon and cold cuts were also assessed.

    The study surveyed more than 545,000 Americans aged between 50 and 71 years regarding their eating habits, then made follow-ups on them for 10 years. There were more than 70,000 deaths during that time.

    The study, carried out by the American National Cancer Institute, was published in last week’s issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    Lead researcher Rashmi Sinha of the National Cancer Institute termed the increased risk modest but enough to support the advice of several health authorities to limit red and processed meat intake to decrease cancer risk.

    According to the study, which has been highly publicised, women who ate large amounts of red meat had a 20 per cent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 50 per cent higher risk of dying of heart diseases than women who ate less.

    However, the study vindicates white meat like chicken and fish, which were found to have a lower disease incidence. But a Kenya study presented last week at the third East African Scientific Conference in Nairobi was not so kind to local chicken.

    Sampled chicken

    The Ministry of Livestock Development study sampled chicken at a processing plant near Nairobi and found high levels of bacteria resistant to several antibiotics used in treating some human conditions.

    This means that consumers of such products could be at a greater risk of failing to respond to drugs such as tetracycline or ampicillin for which the local chicken was found to have developed resistance.

    In essence, it means such patients may have to go for more expensive medication. Ampicillin is used to treat a wide range of bacterial infections such as chronic bronchitis, sinusitis, infections of the middle ear and urinary tract, and gonorrhoea.

    According to Ms Adelaide Ayoyi Ogutu, who presented the research findings, this is a worrying development.

    DAILY NATION - Kenyans eat too much red meat