Iron fist

| Post published on June 2, 2007
minute reading time

The type of iron found in red meat may cause changes that lead to cancers of the colon, breast and prostate, heart disease and other diseases. Writing in the journal Medical Hypothesis a mechanism is proposed that could explain how. This article suggests that haem-iron is to blame. This is a highly available form of iron found in meat but not plants. It suggests that haem-iron contributes to tissue damage done by damaging molecules called free radicals. Reducing the amount of red meat will limit the level of damage. Additionally the author states that eating more fruit and vegetables will boost your levels of antioxidants (selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C, lycopene and various phytochemicals) which ‘mop up’ free radicals.

Tappel A. 2007. Heme of consumed red meat can act as a catalyst of oxidative damage and could initiate colon, breast and prostate cancers, heart disease and other diseases. Medical Hypotheses. 68 (3) 562-564.

About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
I joined Viva! as a health campaigner in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. My scientific training helped me research and write numerous reports, guides and fact sheets for Viva! including Meat the Truth, Fish-Free for Life, One in Nine (breast cancer and diet) and the substantial report on the detrimental health effects of consuming dairy; White Lies. This accompanied Viva!’s report The Dark Side of Dairy which spelt out the inherent cruelty of dairy farming. We were the first UK group to take on the dairy industry in this way, and many of our supporters go vegan after reading these reports.

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