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Consuming Animal Fat Linked To Pancreatic Cancer

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Results of a new study reveals a link between consuming animal fat from dairy, and possibly red meat, and pancreatic cancer. In men, the relative increased risk of pancreatic cancer increased fifty three percent – for women, the risk increased twenty three percent, compared to a low animal fat diet.

The study is published June 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The authors conducted the study to clarify previous research. The study revealed that individuals who ate high amounts of saturated fats had 36% higher relative rates of pancreatic cancer, compared with individuals who consumed low amounts.

Rachael Z. Stolzenberg-Solomon, Ph.D., of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues analyzed data from the National Institutes of Health – AARP Diet and Health Study that included over 500,000 people. The study found a link between pancreatic cancer and intake of total, saturated, and monounsaturated fat in the diet.

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The researchers report they “observed positive associations between pancreatic cancer and intakes of total, saturated, and monounsaturated fat overall, particularly from red meat and dairy food sources. We did not observe any consistent association with polyunsaturated or fat from plant food sources.” The results suggest that eating fat from animals contributes to pancreatic cancer.

The study is considered a well-designed analysis that increases understanding of how pancreatic cancer can develop, as stated in an accompanying editorial from Brian M. Wolpin, M.D., MPH, of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and Meir J. Stampfer, M.D., DrPH, of the Harvard School of Public Health.

The research does not clearly define the role of red meat as a contributor to pancreatic cancer. It may be that other dietary and lifestyle factors also play a role. The current study, which is large and well-designed, does suggest increased risk of pancreatic cancer from consuming animal fat.

Source: xfordjournals.org