The link between diet and disease
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has a website in which they list all the published research being done, all over the world, on diet and disease. Many of these are cohort studies, which means that a study has been done of many other studies in different countries.
* High intakes of fish during pregnancy increase the risk for overweight and obesity in offspring, according to a study published online in JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers monitored 26,184 women, and their children, for fish intake and BMIs (Body Mass Index), respectively. Those who ate fish more than three times per week, while pregnant, had children with higher BMIs through early childhood, and increased their children’s risk, for rapid weight gain, when compared to those who ate less fish per week. Researchers suspect chemical pollutants, found in fish, may alter fat metabolism and thus contribute to weight gain.
(Stratakis N, Roumeliotaki T, Oken E, et al. Fish intake in pregnancy and child growth: a pooled analysis of 15 European and US birth cohorts. JAMA Pediatr. February 15, 2016.)
* Consuming three or more eggs per week increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers analyzed 12 cohort studies that encompassed over 200,000 participants and their egg consumption and risk for type 2 diabetes. In the United States, those who consumed the most eggs experienced a 39 percent higher risk for diabetes, compared with those who consumed the least. In studies conducted outside the United States, egg consumption was not associated with diabetes risk. Other dietary habits may contribute to the elevated risk, including common consumption of processed meats with eggs.
(Djoussé L, Khawaja OA, Gaziano JM. Egg consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr. Published January 6, 2016.)
* Diet may be the most important risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease risk, according to research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The author used dietary data from 10 countries, and several other studies, on diet and Alzheimer’s disease and assessed disease risk for several dietary factors. Consumption of meat increased disease risk the most, followed by eggs and high-fat dairy, while high intakes of fruits, vegetables, and grains reduced the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Possible mechanisms include increased intakes of metal ions, such as copper, and saturated fat, both prevalent in meat.
(Grant WB. Using multicountry ecological and observational studies to determine dietary risk factors for Alzheimer's disease. J Am Coll Nutr. Published July 25, 2016.)
* Red meat increases your risk for kidney failure, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. Researchers assessed data from 63,257 participants as part of the Singapore Chinese Health Study and tracked diet and kidney failure. Those who consumed the most protein from red meat increased their risk for end-stage kidney disease. Results showed that replacing a single serving of red meat with another source of protein, such as soy products or legumes, cut the risk for disease by over 60 percent. These findings support previous research that suggests diets high in processed meats increase risk for disease and mortality.
(Lew QLJ, Jafar TH, Koh HWL, et al. Red meat intake and risk of ESRD. J Am Soc Nephrol. Published July 14, 2016.)
* Red meat, processed meat, and eggs, increase risk for stroke, according to a study published online in the journal Stroke. Researchers followed the diets of 11,601 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study and monitored protein sources and stroke incidence rates. The highest intakes of red and processed meat products were associated with an increased risk for total stroke by 41 and 24 percent, respectively, compared with those who consumed the least. In a sub-analysis of stroke type, those who consumed the most red meat had a 47 percent increased risk for ischemic stroke, compared with those who consumed the least. Those who consumed the most eggs had a 41 percent increased risk for hemorrhagic stroke, compared with those who consumed the least.
(Haring B, Misialek JR, Rebholz CM, et al. Association of dietary protein consumption with incident silent cerebral infarcts and stroke: the ARIC study. Stroke. Published October 29, 2015.)
* Various components found in red and processed meat products increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to a review published in Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental. Saturated fat, high sodium levels, carcinogens, nitrates, heme iron, and other compounds in red and processed meats may all contribute to decreased insulin sensitivity and other risk factors for type 2 diabetes. While the study calls for more research on specific mechanisms, the authors suspect some combination of these components may increase risk for disease. Preventive measures suggested include increased exercise and a high-fiber, low-fat diet.
(Kim Y, Keogh J, Clifton P. A review of potential metabolic etiologies of the observed association between red meat consumption and development of type 2 diabetes mellitus.Metabolism. 2015;64:768-779.)
* Egg consumption may increase the risk for heart disease, according to a study published in Atherosclerosis. Researchers monitored the diets of 23,417 South Korean participants through the Kangbuk Samsung Health Study and found that heart disease risk increased incrementally with increased egg intake. Those who ate the most eggs, compared with those who ate the least, had 80 percent higher coronary artery calcium scores, a measure of heart disease risk.
Eggs also appeared to increase the risk for obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
(Choi Y, Chang , Lee JE, et al. Egg consumption and coronary artery calcification in asymptomatic men and women. Atherosclerosis. 2015;241:305-312.)
* High intakes of dairy products increase the risk for prostate cancer, according to a new meta-analysis in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers analyzed data from 32 different studies and found total dairy product, total milk, low-fat milk, cheese, and dietary calcium intakes were incrementally associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer.
The Physicians Health Study, tracking 21,660 participants for 28 years, found an increased risk of prostate cancer for those who consumed ≥ 2.5 servings of dairy products per day, compared with those who consumed ≤ 0.5 servings a day.
(Aune D, Rosenblatt DAN, Chan DSM, et al. Dairy products, calcium, and prostate cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;101:87-117.)(Song Y, Chavarro JE, Cao Y, et al. Whole milk intake is associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality among U.S. male physicians. J Nutr. 2013;143:189-196.)
* Removing dairy products from your diet may lower your risk of certain cancers, according to a study published online in the British Journal of Cancer. Researchers followed 22,788 lactose intolerant participants from Sweden. They also monitored cancer rates of their immediate family members. The incidence rates for lung, breast, and ovarian cancers decreased among the lactose intolerant. Family members, and the general Swedish population, who included dairy in their diet did not experience the same reduction in cancer risk. Researchers suspect the avoidance of high amounts of saturated fat and hormones found in dairy products may account for the decreased risk.
(Ji J, Sundquist J, Sundquist K. Lactose intolerance and risk of lung, breast and ovarian cancers: aetiological clues from a population-based study in Sweden. Br J Cancer. Published online October 14, 2014.)
* Women who consume the most red meat during childhood are at higher risk for developing breast cancer, compared with those who consume the least, according to a study published in the International Journal of Cancer. Researchers followed 44,231 women aged 32-52 years, who participate in Harvard's Nurses' Health Study II for 13 years, and found that women who consumed the most total red meat during childhood were at 43 percent increased risk for developing premenopausal breast cancer, compared with women who consumed the least.
(Farvid MS, Cho E, Chen WY, Eliassen AH, Willett WC. Adolescent meat intake and breast cancer risk. Int J Cancer. Published online October 3, 2014.)
* A new study confirms that red and processed meat are associated with an increased risk in colorectal cancer, while also identifying certain genetic factors that may further increase risk.
Researchers looked at 9,287 individuals, who developed colorectal cancer, and 9,120 individuals who did not, from 10 studies as part of the Genetics and Epidemiology of Colorectal Cancer Consortium (GECCO). Risk of colorectal cancer increased by 15 percent with the consumption of red meat and by 11 percent with the consumption of processed meat.
The risk associated with processed meat consumption increased to 20 and 39 percent for participants with two different genetic variants. In contrast, fruits, vegetables, and fibre consumption were associated with a decreased risk for colorectal cancer.
(Figueiredo JC, Hsu L, Hutter CM, Lin Y, Campbell PT, et al. Genome-Wide Diet-Gene Interaction Analyses for Risk of Colorectal Cancer. PLOS Genetics. 2014;10(4):e1004228.)
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