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8462 posts

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# 248989 18-Apr-2019 13:41
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This subject popped up in the "Off Topic" forum thread, "The dumbest Stuff of Herald Headlines (& other new media).

 

The same or similar headlines and news articles appeared on numerous news sites, more or less along the lines that if you eat red meat or drink alcohol, then you're at grave risk, exacerbated by the articles stating in a very clickbaity and imprecise way, that every drink you have increases your CRC risk by 8%.

 

FWIW, I found the original journal article here:

 

https://academic.oup.com/ije/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ije/dyz064/5470096

 

I had a quick read of it last night, it seems legit, and it was a large study.

 

They attempted to eliminate confounding factors, those assumed factors seemed to be mainly or entirely dietary related.  Fair enough I suppose given the title.
One non-dietary confounding factor which is probably missed is physical exercise, more exercise probably reduces risk considerably.  I have no idea if people who eat more (red) meat tend to exercise less,  (high) BMI seems to be risk factor and was included,  it also loosely correlates with increased red/processed meat consumption etc.

 

Note that there's separate data for red and processed meat, just red meat, and just processed meat.  IIRC although the study showed both were a similar risk factor, the quantity of processed meat consumed was half that of "red" meat. (50g/day vs 25g/day) for about the same increased risk.

 

They used self-reporting of diet - what was eaten and how much.  I've no idea how accurate that was, there was mention of some methodology to reduce self-reporting error. I've no idea how much error there is in self reported diet.  They did also include self-reported alcohol intake.  People do tend to lie... err "underestimate" their consumption. If they'd included physical exercise, then people tend to over-report how much they get.  I'd have liked to see sugar (sucrose) intake included.

 

Some weird results:

 

Drinking 3 cups of coffee a day seems to reduce incidence of CRC by 10%.  Yay - now that's really got clickbait headline potential.

 

Quantity of fruit and vegetables consumed seems to offer no protective benefit.  That's really not what the 5+ a day folks keep telling us.

 

Conversely, fibre from grains does seem to be moderately protective. Hmmmm.

 

Beer's worse than wine, apparently.  For every 10g of alcohol per day, then if that's from wine, risk increased 5%.  If it's beer, then risk increased 11% (8% average).  I'd guess there may be gender bias in that, though the same has been reported elsewhere.

 

There's "heterogeneity" by gender.  Probably actually the most interesting thing of all, IMO.  CRC risk seems to increase significantly for men who consume red/processed meat and/or alcohol, but they report a null result for women consuming the same.  There's a few hypotheses presented in an attempt to explain that. 

 

In the end, it's probably fair to say that beef and bacon burgers - washed down with a pint of beer - isn't what a bloke should be consuming as a staple diet.  OTOH a women could eat the burger, have a glass of wine daily, and so long as they ate their high fibre brekky cereal, then they're probably not at increased risk for CRC.


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  # 2220600 18-Apr-2019 13:46
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I tend to not bother about such studies and eat what I feel like, primarily a lot of red meet and beer. 😜

Luckily I was born with the metabolism of a hummingbird. 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2220610 18-Apr-2019 13:49
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As above. I find today's study is quickly superseded with tomorrow's study contradicting everything said before by other researchers. A balanced diet that ensures nothing is consumed in excess has worked for me to date so I'll continue on this path.


 
 
 
 




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  # 2220612 18-Apr-2019 13:55
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I think the two replies above demonstrate denial,  justification for denial by personal anecdote, and cynicism rather than skepticism.  There's plenty to be skeptical of in that study (which was still large and pretty good).  I'd tend to be cynical of the bombardment through the media of clickbaity headlines reporting very poor quality trials, (or misreporting good ones) to the extent that nobody seems to believe anything any more - we're turning into cynics who dismiss anything we don't like to hear with one-liners.

 

 

 

Just FWIW, CRC kills more NZer per year than breast and prostate cancer combined, diet and/or lifestyle seem to be significant risk factors, NZ has one of the highest incidence and death rates per capita in the world, and our typical diet closely correlates with that found by this study and others to be probable causative (co)factors.  I doubt it'll change my dietary choices much either, but I almost weep when I see the guck being dumped in supermarket trollies, the last thing those folks need is someone telling them that the science suggesting much of what they eat is dangerously poor quality is nonsense.

 

 


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  # 2220638 18-Apr-2019 14:30
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It's a balancing act. I eat a small amount of red meat, it is a source of vitamin D which is hard to get during winter and only available from the sun during the middle of the day. I would eat no more than the equivalent of two lean chops a week and that would be about it. I eat white meat, limit port and eat fish. I am not a big eater anyway a typical day for me is two eegs or rolled oats for breakfast, fruit or crackers or soup for lunch and a small dinner say one potato, a piece of chicken and veges. I also like and eat rice a lot. Eating too much red meat has always made me feel ill and worsens the symptoms of my medical condition.

 

High protein red meats made humans the intelligent beasts we are but it is also a culinary enemy that should be treated with caution. 





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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2220651 18-Apr-2019 14:50
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It’s nothing to do with denial. These studies come and go but the one thing that has remained consistent throughout is moderation.

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  # 2220662 18-Apr-2019 15:12
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I shall ensure a double shot of coffee with my steak from now on :)




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  # 2220680 18-Apr-2019 15:48
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MikeB4:

 

I eat a small amount of red meat, it is a source of vitamin D which is hard to get during winter and only available from the sun during the middle of the day.

 

 

Supplements?

 

I believe the UK NHS now recommend supplementation of 800iu/day.


 
 
 
 




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  # 2220684 18-Apr-2019 15:55
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Senecio: It’s nothing to do with denial. These studies come and go but the one thing that has remained consistent throughout is moderation.

 

Look I get what you're saying you're saying about moderation, just pointing out that moderate smoking used to be less than a pack a day, people smothered their sammies with margarine full of trans fats, and eggs were called cholesterol bullets for a couple of decades. Then there's  sugar. Science has changed that.

 

I don't  think the study is going to come and go. It's  too important, and it's hardly some bolt out of the blue, it's just further confirmation of what's been reported in many other studies.


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  # 2220685 18-Apr-2019 15:57
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Fred99:

 

MikeB4:

 

I eat a small amount of red meat, it is a source of vitamin D which is hard to get during winter and only available from the sun during the middle of the day.

 

 

Supplements?

 

I believe the UK NHS now recommend supplementation of 800iu/day.

 

 

 

 

I take vitamin D supplements during the winter months with the supervision of my doctor to avoid over dosing. My condition stops me from detecting the early symptoms of vitamin D deficiency such as muscle weakness.  





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  # 2220851 18-Apr-2019 20:24
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Breathing is terminal.

 

 

 

Nuff said...






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  # 2220857 18-Apr-2019 20:37
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I'm stuffed then! May as well just enjoy what time I have left by eating more

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  # 2220870 18-Apr-2019 21:16
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There is some reasonably well known bias in self-reported diet studies - essentially cognitive biases mean that people report eating less and healthier than they actually eat - “because someone is watching and that is what they want to hear”.

Question is where the evidence comes from to inform the bias - ie, what is healthy. This means as societal trends progress/change you see these change or reinforce themselves..

This phenomenon is why blinding is so important in RCTs - essentially you are able to control for expectations of certain outcomes.


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  # 2220881 18-Apr-2019 22:33
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I think some of these points are valid. 

However I will continue to consume these items. But again, all in moderation.

 

Notably you mentioned that people with a high BMI and most probably other health problems were taken into account. I agree with this, and I also agree that coffee is great, however some people reject excess caffeine.

 

Beer in general is quite possibly one of the worst alcohols and is not good for you, its carbohydrate count is very high and actually does nothing good for the body at all. I have cut my beer intake in the last couple of years significantly and as a result, along with fasting and a ketogenic diet I have lost lots of weight, feel a tonne better. I will drink low carb beer occasionally, wine and gin/vodka if I am in the mood for drinking.

 

Having an excess amount of red meat, or any animal protein for that matter is not going to be good.

 

I read the study you mentioned on the BBC news. The percentage changes in risk of cancer were very negligible.

 

In my opinion, you are more likely to get cancer from being exposed to chemicals or something than smashing though a tonne of animal protein.

 

Also most peoples bodys are capable of autophagy, which is a self healing process where old mis-folded cells are recycled, most peoples bodies are never in a state to enter this, and therefore don't self repair very well. This process has been proven to battle problems like cancer in early stages and in many cases reduce tumors without treatment. A japanese scientist won a nobel prize for this research in 2016. https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/medicine/2016/summary/

 

I am just not convinced red meat, cut from the bone is bad (in sensible portions).

 

Highly processed red meat is bad, and I do agree that this in excess will cause toxin build up in the body.

 

 

 

 






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  # 2220915 19-Apr-2019 08:12
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Living is bad for your health. Enjoy yourself or don't. I've been brought up on a diet which includes a reasonable (certainly not excessive) amount of red meat. I enjoy things the way they are. If I changed, I probably wouldn't enjoy things so much so I'll stick with what I like and take my chances. Got to say, I'm really looking forward to a night out at Gauchos with a few others from here in a couple of weeks time :-)


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Ultimate Geek


  # 2220916 19-Apr-2019 08:18
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I think it's important to watch what you eat, everything in moderation etc....

But there's a degree of randomness that can't be controlled. What I mean is we all know perfectly healthy people that die early and we know unhealthy people that live much longer. I have an uncle who has probably never seen a vegetable in his life, he really doesnt take good care of himself yet he's 80 and and still going strong. He doesnt drink though.

My grandma died from lung cancer at 65 and my grandad died at 92 still smoking and drinking and eating red meat till his last days.

Be responsible but enjoy life, you never know when it will end. Time for some bacon and eggs :)


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