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Link Between Hot Dogs And Colorectal Cancer

Study Of Meat Consumption And Colorectal Cancer Risk

Our roundtable discussions usually include questions about diet and health. We often ask: what are the ingredients in hot dogs and how does this affect us? Is there a link between hot dogs and colorectal cancer? What about other processed meats?


A study published recently states the following:

The largest source of nitrate from meat was red meat coldcuts (24%), hot dogs (22%), and bacon (19%).

After up to 7.2 years of follow-up, we ascertained 2,719 incident colorectal cancer cases (1,806 male and 913 female cases), of which 1,995 were colon cancers (1,150 proximal, 787 distal colon, 58 lacked definitive site information) and 724 were rectal cancers.

Individuals in the highest quintile of red meat intake were more likely to be non-Hispanic White, current smokers and to have a higher BMI compared with those in the lowest quintile; furthermore, they were less educated, less physically active, less likely to have a family history of colorectal cancer and consumed less calcium, fiber, fruits and vegetables.

In summary, red meat and processed meat were positively associated with colorectal cancer. Our analysis indicates that potential mechanisms underlying these associations include heme iron, nitrate/nitrite and HCAs.

Pregnancy Warnings

It’s well known that the medical experts warn pregnant women about the effects of hot dogs, luncheon meats, and unpasteurized dairy foods. These foods are prone to Listeriosis.

Hot Dog Ingredients

  • Meat trimmings and fat
  • Flavorings, such as salt, garlic, and paprika
  • Preservatives (cure) – typically sodium erythorbate and sodium nitrite
  • Hot dogs often have high sodium, fat and nitrite content, ingredients linked to health problems. Less expensive hot dogs are often made from chicken or turkey, using low cost mechanically separated poultry. This is referred to as mechanically separated meat (MSM).

    One Daily Hot Dog Increases Cancer Risk By 20%
    An American Institute for Cancer Research report found that consuming one 50-gram serving of processed meat — about one hot dog — every day increases risk of colorectal cancer by 20%.

    Hot dogs are high in fat and salt and have preservatives sodium nitrate and nitrite, believed to cause cancer.

    Increased U.S. Meat Production

    Between 1961 and 2002, meat consumption in the United States has increased — from 89.2 to 124.8 kilograms per person.

    In the U.S. we are faced with an unprecedented amount of diet related disease including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. There are many different contributing factors to these illnesses, and over consumption of meat produced in unsustainable manners is certainly one of them.

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