A new research outcome from the University of Oxford has linked the consumption of poultry, especially chicken, to an increased risk of prostate and blood cancer. Thousands of cancer cases were associated with chicken intake in the study. Although several other studies had liked red meat consumption to increased risks of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer on the account of how blood from the meat is digested, no study had linked chicken intake to cancer until now.
Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the research found that “Poultry intake was positively associated with risk for malignant melanoma, prostate cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
Exactly 475,000 people living in Britain were tracked from 2006 to 2014, and their diets were analysed in comparison to their health conditions. During the research time frame, 23,000 new cancer cases were recorded among the individuals. Hence, it was found that higher rates of chicken consumption corresponded with malignant skin, lymphoma and prostate cancer. The researchers identified a number of factors that might contribute to this link, such as that chicken meat itself might contain a carcinogen, or cancer risk might be elevated depending on how the chicken is cooked.
However, health scientists pointed out that the positive link between intake of chickens and prostate cancer, lymphoma as well as melanoma requires additional research. Meanwhile, Mr Olusola Olunowo, Managing Director of AgroPark, while explaining the possibility of the link, said: “There is bio-accumulation of chemicals in the human body from the food we consume. These chemicals originate from antibiotics and growth hormones that are used to raise the chickens. Also, the effect of pesticides sprayed on crops that chickens feed on is a major source of concern.”
As a way forward, he advocated the consumption of organic chickens, “as the use of herbs and spices are used as treatment and multivitamins for organic chickens and this totally eliminates the use of chemicals.” He added that the herbs and spices used are also beneficial to humans’ health when the chicken is consumed. Turmeric and basil are anti-cancer and anti-oxidant herbs respectively, and they are used in raising chickens as antibiotics, he added.