US research links gene to cancer and red meat

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Dna Genetics

A US study has claimed that one in three people have a gene that increases their risk of developing colorectal cancer from eating red or processed meat.

The research, presented at the American Society of Human Genetics 2013 meeting, stated that people with the genetic variant rs4143094 had a “significantly”​ increased risk of developing colorectal cancer if they ate red or processed meat.

The researchers said they believed the gene affected the body’s ability to suppress an immune response that triggers tumour development when red meat and processed meat is consumed.

“Colorectal cancer is a disease that is strongly influenced by certain types of diets,”​ said lead author Jane Figuerido, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.

“We’re showing the biological underpinnings of these correlations, and understand whether genetic variation may make some people more or less susceptible to certain carcinogens in food, which may have future important implications for prevention and population health.”

The researchers compared DNA from 9,287 patients suffering from colorectal cancer and 9,117 individuals without cancer.

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