A short time ago there was an article found on a blog that wanted you to believe a curious study about meat. They wanted you to believe that we FINALLY found EXACTLY why meat causes cancer in the human body. Without using critical thought many decided to take that blog post as fact and use social media to spread this misinformation.
Some of you reading this may not eat meat and don’t like people who do. Some of you love meat and choose to eat it regularly. You may be surprised that this post isn’t about whether or not eating meat is right or wrong.
It is about having the ability to discern fact from fiction and be less likely to fall victim to someone else’s agenda.
In the blogosphere there is a game being played to capture your attention. The rules of the game have no ethics, they are simple and rooted in the need to capture as many clicks and views as possible.
If you haven’t seen the article it’s posted below. Please watch the video and pay close attention to how Dr. Anthony G Beck breaks apart this dangerous social media viral meme. This is one example of what goes on each and every day, don’t fall victim like most will.
A new study out of the University of California, San Diego has discovered the culprit behind why eating red meat leads to higher instances of cancer — and it all has to do with a sugar.
Humans are the only animals that have a higher risk of cancer when it comes to eating red meat, as other carnivores eat red meat naturally with no ill side effects. The study, which was published December 29 in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” discovered that a unique sugar named Neu5Gc, found in most mammals but not in humans, triggers an immune response that in turn causes inflammation.
The study lead, Ajit Varki, MD, is a distinguished professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine and member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. He explained the effect Neu5Gc had in mice:
“Until now, all of our evidence linking Neu5Gc to cancer was circumstantial or indirectly predicted from somewhat artificial experimental setups … This is the first time we have directly shown that mimicking the exact situation in humans — feeding non-human Neu5Gc and inducing anti-Neu5Gc antibodies — increases spontaneous cancers in mice.”
While most other carnivores’ bodies are built to process Neu5Gc, human bodies are not. When people eat a diet that includes lots of red meat, the sugar molecule can trigger the immune system to constantly produce antibodies to fight it off. This leads to chronic inflammation, which many studies have shown promotes tumor growth, leading to cancer.
“The final proof in humans will be much harder to come by … But on a more general note, this work may also help explain potential connections of red meat consumption to other diseases exacerbated by chronic inflammation, such as atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes. Of course, moderate amounts of red meat can be a source of good nutrition for young people. We hope that our work will eventually lead the way to practical solutions for this catch-22.”
If for some reason you believe eating red meat every day (even if it is grass-fed) isn’t a bad thing, well now you have proof. Sorry, meat eaters, humans just aren’t built to be true carnivores.
— ORIGINAL ARTICLE —
Sugar Molecule Links Red Meat Consumption and Elevated Cancer Risk in Mice
Neu5Gc, a non-human sugar found in red meat, promotes inflammation and cancer progression in rodents
December 29, 2014 | Heather Buschman, PhD
While people who eat a lot of red meat are known to be at higher risk for certain cancers, other carnivores are not, prompting researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to investigate the possible tumor-forming role of a sugar called Neu5Gc, which is naturally found in most mammals but not in humans.
In a study published in the Dec. 29 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists found that feeding Neu5Gc to mice engineered to be deficient in the sugar (like humans) significantly promoted spontaneous cancers. The study did not involve exposure to carcinogens or artificially inducing cancers, further implicating Neu5Gc as a key link between red meat consumption and cancer.
“Until now, all of our evidence linking Neu5Gc to cancer was circumstantial or indirectly predicted from somewhat artificial experimental setups,” said principal investigator Ajit Varki, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine and member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. “This is the first time we have directly shown that mimicking the exact situation in humans — feeding non-human Neu5Gc and inducing anti-Neu5Gc antibodies — increases spontaneous cancers in mice.”
Varki’s team first conducted a systematic survey of common foods. They found that red meats (beef, pork and lamb) are rich in Neu5Gc, affirming that foods of mammalian origin such as these are the primary sources of Neu5Gc in the human diet. The molecule was found to be bio-available, too, meaning it can be distributed to tissues throughout the body via the bloodstream.
The researchers had previously discovered that animal Neu5Gc can be absorbed into human tissues. In this study, they hypothesized that eating red meat could lead to inflammation if the body’s immune system is constantly generating antibodies against consumed animal Neu5Gc, a foreign molecule. Chronic inflammation is known to promote tumor formation.
To test this hypothesis, the team engineered mice to mimic humans in that they lacked their own Neu5Gc and produced antibodies against it. When these mice were fed Neu5Gc, they developed systemic inflammation. Spontaneous tumor formation increased fivefold and Neu5Gc accumulated in the tumors.
“The final proof in humans will be much harder to come by,” Varki said. “But on a more general note, this work may also help explain potential connections of red meat consumption to other diseases exacerbated by chronic inflammation, such as atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.
“Of course, moderate amounts of red meat can be a source of good nutrition for young people. We hope that our work will eventually lead the way to practical solutions for this catch-22.”
Study co-authors include Annie N. Samraj, Oliver M. T. Pearce, Heinz Läubli, Alyssa N. Crittenden, Anne K. Bergfeld, Kalyan Banda, Christopher J. Gregg, Andrea E. Bingman, Patrick Secrest, Sandra L. Diaz and Nissi M. Varki, all at UC San Diego School of Medicine.
This research was funded, in part, by the Ellison Medical Foundation, the National Cancer Institute (grant R01CA38701), a Samuel and Ruth Engelberg Fellowship from the Cancer Research Institute and a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellowship.
Disclosure: Ajit Varki and Nissi Varki are co-founders and have equity interest in SiaMab Therapeutics, Inc., a biotech company with an interest in Neu5Gc and anti-Neu5Gc antibodies. In addition, Ajit Varki is a member of SiaMab Therapeutics, Inc.’s Board of Directors and is a Scientific Advisor to the company. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the University of California, San Diego in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.