Like cured meats? Then start liking calcium

By 21. October 2013Blog, Health

Research to be published in the November edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) has found that taking calcium carbonate while eating cured meat could help reduce your chance of colon cancer.

We have all heard that red meat and especially cured meats can increase the chance of colon cancer but do you know why? Well, according to the paper there are four main ideas:

“1) fat present in meat promotes carcinogenesis by raising intestinal bile acids;
2) cooking meat at a high temperature forms carcinogenic heterocyclic amines;
3) endogenous nitrosation yields nitroso compounds that can be carcinogenic;
4) heme iron in red meat promotes carcinogenesis because it increases cell proliferation in the mucosa through lipid oxidation and the cytotoxicity of fecal water.”

The researchers conducted two studies, one using rats and the other human volunteers. The volunteers were asked to eat 180g of cured ham per day with two doses of 500mg calcium carbonate. It was found in both humans and rats that taking calcium carbonate reduced the amount of nitroso compounds and lipoperoxidation in faeces, suggesting that supplementation of calcium can reduce the colon cancer risk associated with cured-meat intake.

Check out the publication on the AJCN website.