Bacon may increase bladder cancer risk
Dec 1, 2006 - 2:24:52 PM

New York, Dec 1 - People who eat bacon sandwich at least five times a week are likely to be at 59 percent more risk of developing bladder cancer than those who do not, says a study.

Bacon by definition is cured and smoked pork. In the US, the cut most commonly used is pork belly, preferably the belly meat from the back closest to the loin.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston looked at data for 136,000 people and found that people who ate bacon at least five times a week were 59 percent more likely to develop the disease, reports the online edition of BBC.

People who frequently ate skinless chicken had a 52 percent greater risk, researchers said in the study that appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Nitrosamines, chemicals often found in processed meats and in particularly high levels in bacon, are known to be carcinogenic in high quantities. Heterocyclic amines, also known carcinogens, form when meat is cooked at high temperatures.

Compared with skinless chicken, cooked chicken with skin is known to contain a smaller amount of heterocyclic amines, the researchers said.

'More research is needed before we can say for sure whether or not eating bacon in particular affects bladder cancer risk,' said Emma Knight, the science information manager at Cancer Research UK.

'For now, our advice remains to eat a balanced diet that is low in fat, processed and red meat, and rich in vegetables, fruit and fibre,' Knight added.

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