11.14.2006

Taming Your Inner Carnivore

Women should pay attention to two extensive scientific studies released this week. The studies deal with the links between eating red meat and how effective vitamins are as a preventative for heart disease in women.

You can read the full report on red meat and breast cancer in the Archives of Internal Medicine magazine. In a nutshell the report says the more red meat you eat, the greater your risk for breast cancer.

“More” is defined as 1 and ½ servings per day which makes women twice as likely to develop hormone related breast cancer, as those women who ate fewer than three portions of red meat per week.

The second report is the longest running study of how, or if, vitamin supplements help prevent heart disease in women. This study was conducted by doctors from Harvard who concluded that the supplements, don’t help much at all. Although there were some hints that vitamin C may do a little something for high risk women. That conclusion, say doctors, needs more study.

The vitamin study has been going on for a decade and more than 8000 women were randomly given vitamin C, E and beta carotene. Another 5000 women were given folic acid and vitamin B for seven years.

The doctors concluded there was “minimal evidence” of cardiovascular benefit. This study continues.

In the meat study, 90,000 women between the ages of 26 and 46, were looked at, and questioned over a 20 year period. They were divided into five groups based on how much meat they ate on a regular basis.

Meat consumption was linked to breast cancers caused by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, but not to non hormonal cancers.

The women who ate the most meat were also likely to be smokers and overweight. Even taking these factors into account, doctors say they were able to document the red meat cancer connection.

The bottom line to all this.....cut down on red meat, stop smoking and exercise. We keep hearing that.

Are we listening?
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