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The connection between red meat and cancer

 

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It is a known fact that people eating red meat in excess are bound to be at a higher risk of certain cancers. But it is surprising to note the carnivores are not prone to the same that has initiated a lot of research on the Neu5Gc sugar which is a tumor forming substance and is found in mammals but not in humans.

 

Studies have shown that when the sugar was fed to mice who were deficient in sugar, significant amount of tumours were found in them leading to spontaneous cancers. The study did not by any means, expose the mice to any kind of carcinogens or certain cancer inducing machines that concretely proved that the sugar, Neu5Gc was a big connection between the cancer and the red meat.

To this date, all kind of evidence that was reported from Neu5Gc to cancer was directly dependent on the situations or came up from all the artificial simulation set ups of cancer as told by Mr. Ajit Varki, a Medical Scientist. It turns out to be a debut attempt in simulating the real life situation in humans, consisting of feeding the sugar and inducing the antidotes of the sugar that lead to the immediate happening of cancer in the mice.

 

This whole team of scientists conducted a very organized and well strategized survey on common foods. They concluded that all the red meats usually consisting of lamb and pork are actually rich in Neu5Gc which further confirmed that the food that came from mammals such as these are the primary contributors to Neu5Gc in the human population who consume them the most. The molecule also has been bio available which means that it can reach out to the tissues in the body through the bloodstream. The research has also shown that the Neu5Gc sugar can be absorbed really well when it comes to human tissues. The hypothesis of the scientists revealed that the consumption of the red meat can be very fatal for the immune system of the human body. The immune system of the human body is always in the continuous process of releasing antibodies that keeps the fight alive against Neu5Gc which is a foreign molecule. The inflammation if gets chronic, can lead to tumor formation.

 

 

This hypothesis has been tested in a lot of ways where the research team has been simulating the mice to represent the humans in the experiments and even produced antidote against it which has given out good conclusions. Now, the moment the mice were fed with Neu5Gc, lot of inflammation was observed in their system. The inflammation was so rapid that the tumor started forming out in their system to the tune of 5 times of normal. Dr Varki who apparently initiated the research believes that the reason behind the research was to find out what would be the effect of the Neu5Gc on the humans and feels it would take some time to come out with the conclusion. But he also feels that  it would give rise to the solution of other studies where there have been connections of the red meat to other diseases and have been non explainable. The other diseases also have shown that red meat is a continuous cause to chronic inflammation and has always been causing diseases like atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.

 

However, on the brighter side, the controlled amounts of red meat have also been a nutritious source for the youth. The research, therefore is most likely to come to better conclusions to determine the right dose of red meat that doesn’t get carcinogenic in any way.

References

http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-sugar-molecule-neu5gc-links-red.html