Does Food Causes cancer

Today we know that too much of a certain type of food can have harmful effects on our health and well being, and we are learning that diseases such as cancer, are caused in part by our dietary choices. In the last 15 years a connection between cancer and diet has been discovered. Cancer is a disease that begins when cells multiply without control and destroy healthy tissue. It is a disease that can endanger life and is the leading cause of death in many countries. Cancer strikes people of all ages, both male and female. It can start anywhere in the body and spread. Cancer kills thousands of people in the United States alone every year.

According to the National Cancer Institute, over 30% of these deaths can be attributed to diet; this is the biggest percentage for cause of cancer compared to other factors. One of the main causes of cancer is food and diet. If food is the main cause of cancer, an average person can greatly lower his or her risk of getting cancer simply by changing his or her diet. But with all the healthy lifestyle campaigns and the increase in production of organic food, the world hardly experienced a decrease in percentage of cancer cases. There is disagreement on how food can cause cancer or might have the possibility to prevent cancer.

The first issue is the consumption of meat that may lead to higher risk of having cancer. The second issue is the consumption of organic food that has been debated of having the ability to prevent cancer. The last issue is the role of coffee in causing cancer. The first issue is the intake of red and processed meat may increase the risk of cancer. Red meat includes all lambs, steaks and hamburgers. Processed meat includes ham, bacon, salami and sausages. The presence of mutagens in the red meat and processed meat is able to activate the cancer cells in the human body.

Mutagens, which are a type of Carcinogen, are mainly found in meat; excessive mutagen may activate the cancer cells in our body. According to Sugimura (1986), “In due course, the presence of a series of highly mutagenic substances in cooked meat and fish was discovered” (p. 18). While raw meat and raw fish scarcely showed any mutagenicity, cooking resulted in the generation of mutagens depending on the degree and duration of heating. Around a quarter of bowel cancer cases that have occurred in men, and around a sixth in women, are linked to eating red or processed meat.

Bowel cancer risk increases by more than 28% for every 120g of red meat eaten per day, and by almost a tenth (9%) for every 30g of processed meat eaten per day. Processed meat is more strongly linked to cancer risk than red meat. There is growing evidence that links red meat to pancreatic cancer and stomach cancer. A study found that eating lots of meat, particularly red and processed meat, could also increase the risk of stomach cancer. People eating over 100g of meat a day had over 3 times the risk of getting stomach cancer, while people that consumes around 100g to 300g meat per week lower their chance of having cancer as much as 12 times.

Another very large study found that people who eat the most red or processed meat have 40-50% higher risk of pancreatic cancer (Lam, Cross, Consonni, 2009). On the other hand, we could never overlook the benefits of meat to our health. Consumption of meat is vital to maintain our good health. According to Shankar (2012), meat is one of the main sources for protein. Proteins are the main building blocks in our body, an average sedentary man that weight 191 pounds need at least 85 grams of protein everyday; the consumption of proteins needed by the body increases as the weight increases.

Enough intakes of proteins will help the body to function optimally. Proteins have the abilities to produce antibodies that will protect the body from infections and also able to repair and build new body tissues. Eating meat not only provide energy but also improving the health and well being of our body. The issue where consumption of meat may increase the rate of cancer is debatable since meat has both benefits and detriment. Meat might be the source that helps our body to function optimally and avoid all the diseases or meat is the catalyst that increases the risk of having cancer.

The second issue is the consumption of organic food that has been claimed to have the ability to prevent cancer. Vegetable is one of the popular divisions in organic food. Vegetables themselves contain a rich amount of antioxidants that are proven to control cancer. All organic food claim to have the less chemical in contact with the products. Vegetable in the organic food group are said to be pesticide-free; pesticides are proven to harm human health and may cause disease such as cancer and asthma.

When consumers are first introduce to the organic food and its benefits, this has lead to the rapid increase in the market for organic food. The strong smell that broccoli, cabbage, and other cruciferous vegetables share comes from the sulfur compounds that protect the plant as well as human. The sulfur compounds in cruciferous vegetables are a major reason they are such powerful chemo preventive foods. The strong, sometimes bitter taste and smell of these vegetables protect them from insects and animals (Austoker, 1994).

Organic food is proven to increase the enzymes that help rid the body of carcinogens, it actually kills abnormal cells, and it helps the body limit oxidation, the process that initiates many chronic diseases at the cellular level. These are the reasons why organic food has been claimed to have the abilities in preventing cancer. However the role of organic food in preventing cancer becomes an issue when irresponsible parties play a role in this situation. Consumers always have the perception that organic food is chemical-free, or at least is less exposed to the chemicals.

Nevertheless, Holzman (2012) draws a different conclusion regarding this issue. He reviews that even with the restrictions that the organic farmers have to produce organic food, a huge number of them choose to disobey these restrictions. Once a farmer earns his or her license to produce organic food, it is easy for them to do otherwise. Natural resources for pesticides and natural biological control from predators will cost the farmer more time and money. Since the demand for organic produce is currently increasing, farmers are pushed to disobey the restrictions.

Blinded by the large profit that they will receive from their sales, the farmers come out with an alternative, using synthetic pesticide and chemical control before the crop reach its’ mature stage. This means that the crops are still exposed to synthetic pesticide and chemicals like inorganic produce. So basically the consumers are paying more for the benefits that they don’t event earn. Consuming organic food is definitely one of the best efforts to prevent cancer, however when there is cases like mentioned above, the role of organic food in preventing cancer is questionable.

The last issue is the role of coffee in causing cancer. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. According to Statistic Brain (2014), around 100 billion people in America drink coffee daily and one generic brewed cup of coffee contains 95 to 200 mg caffeine. Caffeine has been proven to stimulate the human nervous system, making people become more alert and energetic. These are the reasons why coffee becomes a daily need for most of us. Nonetheless, it has been investigated for possible effects on health outcomes, including cancer.

The evidence for a relationship between coffee consumption and prostate cancer is review by Lee, Fraser and Binss (2009) “The possible relationship between coffee and prostate cancer has been investigated in epidemiologic studies since the 1980s. We identified seven case-control and four cohort studies reporting on coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk and two cohort studies examining prostate cancer mortality. Results of these studies were very inconsistent. Overall, no relationship has emerged with almost all studies reporting no association or non-significant positive and non-significant inverse associations with prostate cancer.

It is possible however, that the association between coffee drinking and other unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and lack of exercise generated these observations as subsequent studies have produced little evidence of any significant relationship with cancer” (p. 257). This indicates that consumption of coffee might trigger the chance of having cancer. Although evidence on the relationship between coffee and cancer is not well developed, it is considered strong enough to recommend tea or any other energy drinks as a healthier alternative to coffee.

Nevertheless, coffee is the preferred drink throughout the majority of Europe and the Americas with 71. 5% of coffee consumption taking place in developed countries; very little dietary advice for the consumption of coffee exists. This is the issue whether the benefits of caffeine can outweigh the possibility that coffee has in causing cancer. In conclusion, eighty percent of cancers are due to factors that have been identified and can potentially be controlled, according to the National Cancer Institute, and at least one-third of annual cancer deaths in the United States are due to dietary factors.

Much of our risk for colon, breast, and prostate cancer, among other types, is nutrition-related. But from the same source, which is diet, we found an abundance of benefits that is proven to prevent cancer. The consumption of meat might be a cause of cancer but it can also lead to a better health. The consumption of organic food might be the preventive measure for cancer or might be the enemy that we never realize since the misconduct behavior that happens due to greediness of some people; the situations where consumers believe that organic food is pesticide-free and chemical-free.

The last issue on the role of coffee, one the most popular beverages that can be considered as a daily requirement for more than half of the human population in America but has a slight possibility in causing cancer. Even though cancer rely on genetic factors, a healthy diet can be designed specifically for preventing disease and effectively implemented into a person’s lifestyle and should therefore be utilized by everyone who wishes to decrease his or her odds of promoting. Thus, to make a statement that food is the main cause of cancer is highly debatable considering the benefits that it has in preventing cancer.

References Austoker, J. (1994). Diet and cancer. _British Medical Journal, 308_(6994), 1610-1614. Crinnion, J. W. (2010). Organic foods contain higher levels of certain nutrients, lower levels of pesticides, and may provide health benefits for the consumer. _Alternative Medicine Review, 15_(1), 4-12. Handysides, A. , Hardinge, F. , Landless, P. , Kuntaraf, K. , Proctor, S. (2012). What’s food got to do with it? _Vibrant Life, 28_(3), 10-13. Lam, K. T. , Croos, J. A. , Consonni, D. , Randi, G. (2009). Intakes of red meat, processed meat, and meat mutagens increase lung cancer risk.

_Cancer Research, 69_(3), 932-936. Lee, H. A. , Fraser, L. M. , Binns, W. C. (2009). Tea, coffee and prostate cancer. _Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 53_(2), 256-265. Shankar, S. , Srivastava, R. (2012). Nutrition, diet and cancer. New York: Springer. Statistic Brain (July, 2014). Coffee Drinking Statistics. Retrieved from http://www. statisticbrain. com/coffee-drinking-statistics/ Stoner, D. G. , Seeram, P. N. (2011). Berries and cancer prevention. New York: Springer. Sugimura, T. (2002). Food and cancer. _Toxilogy, 181_(182), 17-20.

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