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Adela López de Cerain Salsamendi,, Dean of the Pharmacy and Nutrition Department School

T-bone steak without overdoing it


Wed, 28 Oct 2015 14:39:00 +0000 Published in News Journal

research goal The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) was created in 1965 and since the 1970s it has been carrying out evaluations with the aim of identifying the causes of cancer. grade The first monograph was published in 1972 and the conclusions of the latest one, issue 114, have just been disseminated through a press release of the IARC itself and a two-page summary published in the scientific journal The Lancet Oncology. The full text of the monograph is not yet available.

Why has the IARC carried out this review? Because programs of study epidemiological studies have been published in recent years indicating that high consumption of red meat may increase the incidence of colorectal cancer. The IARC considers this review subject when there is exhibition human and some indication of causality. In this case there is no doubt of human exhibition since meat consumption is quite widespread, although it varies from country to country (between 5% and 100% of the population) and some epidemiological programs of study pointed to red or processed meat as causal agents. What the IARC has done in this monograph is to analyze the "strength of the evidence of causality" of the epidemiological programs of study and of carcinogenesis in animals, also taking into account other mechanistic programs of study , with the results that we all know.

However, the IARC does not quantify the potency of an alleged carcinogenic agent (what dose is needed and for how long for the effect to occur), nor does it estimate the maximum intake that should not be exceeded, nor does it establish the maximum admissible or tolerable in a given food, nor does it make dietary recommendations. In final it does not make risk evaluations or risk-benefit balance, which is what corresponds to regulatory agencies and governments.

As consumers, what we have to be clear about is what we already knew: that red meat is at the top of the food pyramid, that red meat consumption should be moderate, no more than 2-3 times a week, and that it is not advisable to abuse treatments that generate very high temperatures such as grilling or broiling. We also know that red meat has very important nutritional properties and that the diet should be varied and balanced. For my part, I will continue to enjoy a good grilled steak from time to time and at home, as I have been doing, I will follow the dietary guidelines of the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition, which watches over the health of everyone.