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Words of Wisdom

The 1st Middle East Vegetarian (MEVEG) Congress, Part 23 of a Multi-part Series, Dec. 7, 2010

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“This is vegetables and fruits. This is fruits and this is non-starch vegetables: they are protective to most cancers. This is what we knew and this is what we encourage because vegetarianism is all about the merit of these two. First, because of the different chemicals in these food items. The proverb, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Why? There are 8,000 different chemicals. Anyways, one of the reasons is because of their chemical and components and the other one is you have less processing for these. When you eat fruits and vegetables, the least processing has been done.”

“For sure, based on the present knowledge, we know that meat and processed meat is a risk factor for colorectal cancer. So it can cause cancer in the colon, in the rectum. The last part of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, but they are candidate risk factor suspects for other cancers.

Because then the question would be how much meat can cause cancer? With every 100 grams increase in red meat, all meat or red meat, the risk will be increased about 15%. But the situation is worse for processed meat. With every 25 grams increase in processed meat consumption, the risk will be increased almost 50%. So at least the main message would be: try to cut meat consumption and specifically try to cut, especially try to cut processed meat in different products that you can find in the market.”

“My conclusions, first, red meat and its processed products are key dietary… suspects for cancer etiology. So, this is a message that should be conveyed to the whole public. The second message is there are different mechanisms, I didn’t talk about this, but, it relates to different components in the meat. And why colorectum? Because this is the main place for bacteria. There are some materials, some chemicals in the meat that can be transformed by those bacteria into toxic materials and then this harms the wall of the GI tract. And also for the process, because of all this heating, especially the barbecuing, because it can produce the toxic elements. Those response relationships have been reported.

But try to convey the message to cut your meat consumption as much as you can, because this will decrease the risk of cancer.”
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Part  23 / 51
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