Eating Starch Reduces Cancer Risk Associated With Eating Red Meat


Fat-free potato salad from Beth at Delectably Free. Potatoes that have been cooked and cooled are high in resistant starch.

Epidemiological studies consistently show a link between high meat intake and colon cancer. The following controlled studies show that eating starch, specifically resistant starch, can mitigate the cancer-contributing effects of a diet high in red meat.

In this study, mice fed a diet high in red meat developed more precancerous lesions than those fed either a low-protein diet or a diet supplemented with resistant starch:

Inhibition by Resistant Starch of Red Meat–Induced Promutagenic Adducts in Mouse Colon, Cancer Prevention Research, November 2011

The delivery of fermentable carbohydrate to the colon (as resistant starch) seems to switch from fermentation of protein to that of carbohydrate and a reduction in adduct formation, supporting previous observations that dietary resistant starch opposes the mutagenic effects of dietary red meat.

In this next study, humans fed a diet high in red meat experienced precancerous changes to the colon, effects that were reduced when they consumed resistant starch:

Dietary Manipulation of Oncogenic MicroRNA Expression in Human Rectal Mucosa: A Randomized Trial, Cancer Prevention Research, August 2014

These findings support increased resistant starch consumption as a means of reducing risk associated with an [high red meat] diet.

Related: New Study: Africans’ Starch-Rich, Low-Fat Diet Protects From Colon Cancer

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