The role of red and processed meat in colorectal cancer development: A perspective

Marije Oostindjer, Jan Alexander, Gro Amdam, Grethe Andersen, Nathan S. Bryan, Duan Chen, Denis E. Corpet, Stefaan De Smet, Lars Ove Dragsted, Anna Haug, Anders H. Karlsson, Gijs Kleter, Theo M. de Kok, Bård Kulseng, Andrew L. Milkowski, Roy J. Martin, Anne Maria Pajari, Jan Erik Paulsen, Jana Pickova, Knut RudiMarianne Sødring, Douglas L. Weed, Bjørg Egelandsdal

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

136 Scopus citations


This paper is based on a workshop held in Oslo, Norway in November 2013, in which experts discussed how to reach consensus on the healthiness of red and processed meat. Recent nutritional recommendations include reducing intake of red and processed meat to reduce cancer risk, in particular colorectal cancer (CRC). Epidemiological and mechanistic data on associations between red and processed meat intake and CRC are inconsistent and underlying mechanisms are unclear. There is a need for further studies on differences between white and red meat, between processed and whole red meat and between different types of processed meats, as potential health risks may not be the same for all products. Better biomarkers of meat intake and of cancer occurrence and updated food composition databases are required for future studies. Modifying meat composition via animal feeding and breeding, improving meat processing by alternative methods such as adding phytochemicals and improving our diets in general are strategies that need to be followed up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-596
Number of pages14
JournalMeat Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014


  • Animal models
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Epidemiology
  • Phytochemicals
  • Processed meat
  • Red meat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science


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