Red meat may raise young women’s breast cancer risk

New research from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) finds a link between high consumption of red meat and breast cancer in young women. Compared with women who had one serving of red meat a week, those who ate 1.5 servings a day appeared to have a 22% higher risk of breast cancer. And each additional daily serving of red meat seemed to increase the risk of breast cancer by another 13%. The researchers drew from data on the health of 89,000 women aged 24 to 43, who were followed over a 20-year period.

The study was published online June 10, 2014 in British Medical Journal.

“Cutting down processed meat, limiting intake of red meat, and substituting a combination of poultry, fish, legumes, and nuts as protein sources for red meat during early life seems beneficial for the prevention of breast cancer,” said lead researcher Maryam Farvid, a Takemi Fellow at HSPH in a June 10, 2014 WebMD article.

Read study: Dietary protein sources in early adulthood and breast cancer incidence: prospective cohort study

Read WebMD coverage: Red meat may raise breast cancer risk

Read BBC News coverage: Red meat ‘linked to breast cancer’