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Hotdogs increase risk for colorectal cancer–PCRM

/ 11:29 PM April 05, 2013

A hotdog a day keeps the cancer in your behind.

Yes, you read that right. Dr. Neal Barnard of the US-based Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), in his April 2 blog, remarked that the opening of the Major League Baseball teams this week also “kicks off the season of increased colorectal cancer risk for baseball fans.”

Barnard wrote that the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimates that baseball fans will eat more than 20 million hotdogs during the 2013 season, to which he added: “But consuming even just one hotdog a day significantly increases the risk of colorectal cancer, which will kill more than 50,000 people this year.”


His pronouncement is not new. Various studies regarding high animal protein diet and cancer have accumulated over the years.

Processed meat

Just one 50-gram serving of processed meat—hotdogs, sausage, bacon and ham—consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer, on average, by 21 percent, according to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (Epic).

Preventive medicine expert Dr. Neil Nedley offers this explanation: Consuming animal proteins leads to increased levels of certain growth hormones that stimulate cancer growth.  Such growth factor is called insulin-like growth factor II (IGF2).

Previously discussed in Nature and Hepatology journals, this factor is needed for the normal growth of the human embryo, and tends to decrease as we get older.

However, as discussed in Cancer Research journals, IGF2 is often found in high amounts in tumors. Some researchers believe that this growth factor helps give the cancer cells a growth advantage.

There are more proofs of the link between colon cancer and animal protein.



The risk of colon cancer for women who eat red meat daily compared to those who eat it less than once a month: 250 percent greater, according to the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons’ “Presidential Address: Beyond Surgery” by Caldwell Esselstyn, San Jose, California, April 15, 1991.

The risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry (chicken, duck, and the like) once a week compared to those who do not eat the same: 55 percent greater, according to the American Journal of Epidemiology study titled “Dietary Risk Factors for Colon Cancer in a Low-Risk Population” by PN Singh.

The study also said the risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry four times a week compared to those who abstain from eating poultry: 200 to 300 percent greater.

It also pointed out the risk of colon cancer for people who eat red meat once a week compared to those who abstain: 38 percent greater.

The same study stated that the risk of colon cancer for people who eat beans, peas, or lentils at least twice a week compared to people who avoid these foods: 50 percent lower.

“The Food Revolution,” authored by John Robbins, cited that the impact of risk for colon cancer when diets are rich in the B-vitamin folic acid: 75 percent lower. The primary food sources of folic acid are dark green leafy vegetables, beans and peas.

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