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Health: eating white meat is good for the liver

This emerges from a study conducted by experts at the Zhejiang Cancer Hospital in China. Serving poultry and the like at meals helps reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma by 34%. Prevention starts with the diet.

Eating white meat is good for liver health. The claim comes directly from Hangzhou, a city of more than six million people in South-East China. Doctors at the Zhejiang Cancer Hospital have shown that eating poultry and the like can reduce by up to 31% the risk of developing liver cancer. Yet the good news doesn't end there: according to the team of experts, red meat seems not to be closely related to the onset of so-called hepatocellular carcinoma.


The huge analysis, summarizing more than 17 previous studies into risk factors involving more than 500 thousand people, was posted some time ago in the specialised Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics monthly magazine. Briefly, the association between consumption of this type of food and the development of cancer cells in the liver is reduced to a minimum for a diet that includes meals based on veal, pork, lamb, goat, poultry, turkey and rabbit. However, pay close attention at the time of purchase, to the colour of the meat: if the colour is lively, bright and shiny, this is an assurance of quality and a healthy product.


Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the most common tumors of the liver all over the world. This Chinese research highlights how, given the high incidence of this disease, especially in Europe and North America and by identifying new risk factors, prevention is crucial in order to lessen impact on the population. This conclusion was reached after analysing information gathered between 1956 and 2013 which show how people who consume fish and white meat in large quantities were less exposed to the risk of contracting this disease of the liver.


In nutritional terms, according to researchers, white meat - like fish - is rich in unsaturated fatty acids having extraordinary anti-inflammatory capabilities and less cholesterol and saturated fat than red meat. If one considers that chronic inflammation plays an important role in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, one can understand the importance the properties of poultry and similar meat. However, the same study emphasises that there is no reliable association between the onset of the disease and consumption of processed products.


“Our findings have significant implications for public health and the prevention of cancer of the liver by changing diet patterns', the report claims, adding: “A diet that includes such nutrients may be a promising way to prevent hepatocellular carcinoma, although these are still hypotheses that need be confirmed by further experimental studies and research”.

Source: Eurocarne Outlook

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