Kidney cancer

Kidney cancer is a common cancer affecting over 10,000 people in the UK every year.

People who eat a lot of meat (and other animal products) have a higher risk of kidney cancer than those who eat little or none. Cancer-causing chemicals called meat mutagens are produced when meat is cooked and it is thought they trigger this disease.

The theory is that enzymes (complex proteins) work in the liver and kidneys to clear drugs, hormones, fats and other compounds from the system – a process called detoxication. However, when they stumble into meat mutagens, these enzymes produce substances that bind with our DNA (genetic information) and cause mutations that can lead to cancer. Complicated stuff but put simply – meat spells trouble.

 

Learn how a vegan diet can help prevent cancer.

 

 

The results of the largest investigation of meat intake and kidney cancer suggest that consumption of meat, and red meat in particular, encourages cancer development and growth. One of the potential mechanisms is the formation of dangerous compounds in meat during the cooking process  (eg heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and the content of cancer causing preservatives such as nitrates and nitrites (which prolong the shelf-life of meat and ensure the bright red colour).