Red Meat & Increased Ova Ca Risk

Red Meat Consumption Associated With Increased Ovarian Cancer Risk

WESTPORT, CT Sep 20, 2001 (Reuters Health) - Consumption of vegetables and fish appears to protect against ovarian cancer, while frequent consumption of red meat and starchy foods, including soup, is associated with an increased risk, according to a report in the September 15th issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

Dr. Cristina Bosetti, of Instituto di Richerche Farmacologiche, Milan, Italy, and colleagues examined the dietary correlates of ovarian cancer by surveying 1031 women with epithelial ovarian cancer and 2411 controls with acute, non-malignant, non-gynecological conditions.

The researchers investigated the women's diets using a validated food frequency questionnaire that included 78 foods and recipes. They observed a significant trend of increasing risk of ovarian cancer associated with frequent consumption of bread, soups, red meat, and sugar, with odds ratios of 1.38, 1.43, 1.53, and 1.43, respectively, for the highest versus lowest quartiles of consumption.

"The positive association with refined carbohydrate and sugar intake, if not due to biased reporting of caloric-rich foods, could be linked to their elevated glycemic index, which has been related to hyperinsulinemia and insulin-like growth factor-I, a promoter of the process of carcinogenesis," Dr. Bosetti's team notes. "This relation should, however, be considered with caution, because the estimates for bread, pasta and rice, and sugar were only marginally significant."

The team observed an inverse relationship between ovarian cancer and "consumption of fish (odds ratio = 0.51), cheese (OR = 0.74), pulses [e.g., peas and beans] (odds ratios = 0.77), raw vegetables (odds ratios 0.47) and cooked vegetables (odds ratio = 0.65)."


International Journal of Cancer 2001;93:911-915.

Thanks to Reuters Health and

Ralph Moss' Take on this Study

from the Moss Report

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