Is it really worth it?
A new study now shows that a diet high
in fat from red meats and dairy may be linked to pancreatic cancer.
Researchers at the Division of Cancer
Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in
Bethesda, Md studied over 500,000 people from the National Institutes
of Health – AARP Diet and Health Study. The people participating in
the study had completed a food questionnaire in 1995-1996 and were
observed for about six years in order to track their health.
In that time, 865 of the men and 472 of
the women were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The study found that men eating a
high-fat diet had a 53 percent higher chance of pancreatic cancer,
while women's risk raised by 23 percent compared to those that ate
less amounts of fat.
“[W]e observed positive associations
between pancreatic cancer and intakes of total, saturated, and
monounsaturated fat overall, particularly from red meat and dairy
food sources. We did not observe any consistent association with
polyunsaturated or fat from plant food sources,” the authors write.
“Altogether, these results suggest a role for animal fat in
According to the Hirshberg Foundation
for Pancreatic Cancer Research, an estimated 42,470 Americans will be
diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009, and over 35,240 will die
from the disease. Seventy-five percent of people with pancreatic
cancer die within the first 12 months of being diagnosed. Pancreatic
cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer related death in
This study was published online June 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.