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Meat ups bladder cancer risk

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grill_301824539.jpgEating too much meat, particularly the fried, grilled, or barbecued variety, increases the risk of bladder cancer.  That’s because cancer causing-chemicals are formed in well done and/or charred meat, according to a new study presented at a U.S. cancer research conference.
The research showed that people who regularly consumed well-done meats were more than twice as likely to develop bladder cancer over those who preferred rare meats.
The University of Texas researchers examined data from 1,700 people and found that the risk was highest among those who ate well-done red meat such as steaks, pork chops and bacon.
The results of the study are pretty plain:  eating lots of red meat, particularly if it’s overcooked and fried or barbecued, raises bladder cancer risk. Additionally, fried chicken and fish also significantly increase cancer odds, according to the lead author of the study, Dr. Xifeng Wu. 
The primary culprit responsible for the increased risk seems to lie with three major types of the cancer-causing chemicals known as heterocyclic amines, which can raise cancer risk by more than 2.5 times.
Of course, not everyone who ate an abundance overcooked meats got bladder cancer.  Another substantial risk factor lies within a person’s DNA; in other words, genetic predisposition plays an important role.
The researchers found people with certain genes were almost five times as likely to develop bladder cancer.
"These results strongly support what we suspected - people who eat a lot of red meat, particularly well-done red meat, such as fried or barbecued, seem to have a higher likelihood of bladder cancer," Wu said.
Charred meat has already been associated with pancreatic cancer.
Dairy products, on the other hand, do not seem to have an association with bladder cancer risk, according to a study published in Feb 15, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology. 
Keszei A. P. and colleagues from Maastricht University in Massctricht, the Netherlands examined the association between intake of various dairy products and risk of bladder cancer in 120,852 men and women aged 55-69; study subjects were followed for 16 years.
The researchers found no assoication between total dairy intake and bladder cancer risk and an inverse correlation between fermented milk products and risk.
For those whose intake of fermented dairy products was in the highest quintile, bladder cancer risk was reduced by 29 percent.
Conversely, eating butter may increase risk of bladder cancer in women by up to 61 percent.  
No association was observed for cheese, calcium, lactose and non-fermented dairy intake.

David Liu and editing by Rachel Stockton

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