Study Suggests Link Between Breast Cancer and Red Meat-Rich Diet

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Red meat consumption might be linked to breast cancer, according to a new study.

Diet is an essential part of health, which is why doctors suggest people eat a balanced amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein. The consequences of forgoing healthy food choices for processed alternatives can be steep. A new study published in the British journal BMJ suggests that a diet rich in red meat could potentially be linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

The study was conducted by researchers from Harvard University who analyzed data on more than 88,000 women between the ages of 26 and 45. The women filled out a health and lifestyle survey in 1991. The women's intake of red meat ranged from those who never ate it to women who consumed six or more servings every day. Researchers analyzed the data, as well as follow-up information, and found that instances of breast cancer increased among women who ate the most amount of red meat. In fact, diagnoses increased by 6.8 women for every 1,000. 

Researchers did note that outside factors could have influenced these results, such as other lifestyle choices like smoking. However, linking red meat and breast cancer makes some sense – proteins found in that food group have been shown to increase tumor growth and cell division. Researchers also point out that because the study was conducted on primarily white American women, females of other races shouldn't expect the same results. 

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