Can Diet Pills, Beer, or Hot Dogs Give You Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer has some risk factors, from age to lifestyle factors (especially dietary factors such as diet low in fiber). However like many things in cancer, the exact cause is not known. How about beer (alcohol), hot dogs, or the use of some diet pills – can they give you the increased risk of this colorectal cancer?

Some diet pills and the risk of colon cancer

Nowadays, overweight and obesity are common problem. And unfortunately when it comes to losing weight, the fast fat-burning option is still the most popular choice.

image_illustration349In fact, weight loss diet pills are overwhelming. Even most of them are sold without adequate scientific-evidences to back up them! While some may work, mostly wasting time.

If they do work, the result is also temporary. If you lose your weight too fast in a few days /weeks, you tend to regain it back fast, too. Even it can harm your overall health!

Having healthy weight can provide lots of health benefits, including lower risk of colorectal cancers. But ironically, the wrong ways on losing weight can pose some health risks.

A weight loss diet pills called Alli (produced by GlaxoSmithKline) took attention in 2007. According to non-profit study, it might pose the risk of developing pre-cancerous lesions in the large intestine of mice.

But it is not banned since there are no long-term studies of the pill’s effect on humans. However, researchers suggested using it only with prescription.

Remember that there is no magic diet pill. And the cost of treatments for your weight loss goal is not always equivalent to the result, too. Even the side effects of stomach-shrinking /gastric bypass surgeries could be more significant in raising the risk of colorectal cancers.

It seems that regular exercise and well-balanced diet are still the best options to lose your weight and control it in long term. But if you do believe particular pill /supplement may help, consult first with your doctor to keep safe, especially true if you are also taking certain medicines.

See also the painless ways to lose weight safely in this section!

Can drinking beer give you colon cancer?

Beer is one of popular beverages with high alcohol. And many studies have confirmed that the habit of drinking alcohol may increase the risk of colorectal cancers. Even about 11 percent of cancers in the bowel are associated with drinking alcohol.

According to a systematic review in 2011, alcohol might cause about 21 percent increase for colorectal cancers (both colon and rectal cancers) – particularly true if we often drink too much! The bad news, abusing alcohol can pose the risk of having other risk factors of colon cancer.

In fact, the habits of drinking alcohol and smoking are often found together. And smoking can affect bowel, too. Some large reviews of studies show that bowel cancer risk is relatively higher among smokers.

Moreover, alcohol and smoking also pose the risk of becoming a sedentary individual. And we know well that lack of exercise (physical activity) also can contribute to increase the risk of many cancers, including colon cancer. See also other risk factors of this cancer in this post!

How about hot dogs, do they also have an effect on your risk?

It has been confirmed that eating a lot of animal based meats (especially red meat) and processed meats can increase bowel cancer risk. According to a study in 2011, about 1 in 5 cases of bowel cancers were linked to eating these kinds of meat. Interestingly, poultry meats may be the safe choice – even eating these meats may not raise the risk of bowel cancers.

Hot dogs, bacon, and rotisserie chicken are popular ready-to-eat products (meat products). But when it comes to the issue of cancer risk, hot dogs may be your better choice. However that is not the whole story, though!

HCA stands for heterocyclic amine. It is thought as a cancer-triggering agent. It is a chemical formed in meat products when they are cooked at high temperatures (particularly very high temperatures).

The level of HCA varies in many different meat products. The good news, hot dogs has lower level of HCA than deli meats, bacon, and rotisserie chicken. That’s why when it comes to cancer and HCA is the single parameter for assessment, hot dogs may be more recommended.

The bad news, HCA is not the single variable to determine the risk of cancer when eating meat. See also how your diet should go to prevent colon cancer in here and here!

Again, higher consumption of red meats and processed meats (including hot dogs) can have an effect in increasing bowel cancer risk. The thing is, there are some substances (not only HCA) in processed meats that can be potentially linked to cancer.

For instances, nitrates and nitrites are often added in meats to preserve good-looking color and prevent spoilage. And these compounds can become nitrosamines, another cancer-triggering agent in animals – though it’s not clear yet whether nitrosamines have the same effect in causing cancer in people.

Many processed meats are also often preserved by methods involving salt or/and smoke, and this can raise the exposure to carcinogenic chemicals. Therefore though hot dogs may be at lowest level of HCAs among other processed meat products, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you can often include them in your healthy diet!

Overall, in fact hot dogs and other ready-to-eat meat products are not healthy choices. So, it’s much better to restrict them in your daily diet.

Citations /references:

  1. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/06/14/group-diet-drug-alli-linked-to-colon-cancer.html
  2. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type/bowel-cancer/about/risks/what-we-know-about-diet-and-bowel-cancer
  3. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/expertvoices/post/2011/03/31/hot-dog!-headlines-can-be-deceiving.aspx

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *