Up until now, the reason why red meat causes cancer has been unclear. Recently, scientists have come to a breakthrough that explains it all. There are many people who were told that pork, beef, and dairy products are important for the health, but studies from recent years show that this claim is wrong. In fact, it is advisable to avoid animal products –especially red meat.
Even though many studies have claimed that consuming red meat is tied with increased risk for cancer(s), atherosclerosis (heart disease), stroke, Alzheimer’s, and even Type II Diabetes, there wasn’t really any sold scientific explanation to why is this the case.
A group of scientists from the University of California in San Diego believe it mainly has to do with sugar, as reported by Telegraph.
Namely, even though humans are omnivores and can tolerate eating meat (as they have consumed it for thousands of years, but not as much as in modern times), there is a unique sugar named Neu5Gc found in most mammals, but not in humans, that is responsible for triggering immune response that causes inflammation.
For the study, the researchers used mice and according to them this is the first time they mimicked the exact situation in humans through feeding non-human Neu5Gc and inducing anti-Neu5Gc antibodies. This increased spontaneous cancer in mice.
This type of sugar is present in red meats such as pork, beef, and other livestock, cow’s milk and certain cheeses. Since the human body is not able to produce this sugar naturally, when it is absorbed into the tissues, it is regarded as a foreign invader and activates the immune system. It is believed that as time passes by, the chronic inflammation caused by the immune system response plays a role in the development of cancer, meaning those who consume red meat on a regular basis are more likely to suffer a stronger reaction than those who consume red meat occasionally.
Luckily, there are many alternatives you can consume instead of the regular burger. For instance, the ‘Impossible Burger’ is renowned as one of the best ‘veggie burgers’ available, and there are plenty of other recipes online.