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Copyright 2013 Natural Standard (
January 2012

Red Meat Consumption Linked to Kidney Cancer

Red meat consumption may be linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer, according to a new study.

The most common type of kidney cancer in adults is called renal cell carcinoma, which starts inside the cells that line tubes in the kidneys. The exact cause of kidney cancer remains unknown. However, researchers believe that several factors, including smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, exposure to environmental toxins (e.g. asbestos) and exposure to radiation may increase a patient's risk of developing kidney cancer.

Red meat contains high amounts of saturated fats, which have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease. A study published in late 2010 found that red meat consumption may be associated with an increased risk for cerebral infarction, a type of stroke, in women. A separate study published in August 2011 also found a possible association between red meat consumption and stroke in men.

In a new study, researchers analyzed dietary intake data for 492,186 participants to assess potential associations between red meat consumption and kidney cancer. Throughout the nine year follow-up period, 1814 cases of kidney cancer were identified.

The researchers found that red meat consumption was linked to a potential increased risk for kidney cancer. The authors noted that the increased risk may be related to intakes of certain cooking compounds.

This study only suggests a potential association, and does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Further research is necessary.

For more information about the kidney cancer, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.


  1. Daniel CR, Cross AJ, Graubard BI, et al. Large prospective investigation of meat intake, related mutagens, and risk of renal cell carcinoma. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Jan;95(1):155-62. View Abstract
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
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