Following the devastating announcement from the World Health Organization that processed meats pose a proven risk of cancer in humans — especially colorectal cancer — researchers across Europe are now hard at work attempting to create processed meats that might reduce that risk.
Scientists at Sweden’s Lund University, along with colleagues at other research-based universities, will conduct a three-year study in which antioxidants — which help prevent cell damage associated with the development of cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute — are extracted from berries and plants, and added to processed meats like sausages, ham, and bacon.
These fortified foods will then be fed to mice, whose rate of cancer diagnoses will be measured. A control group of mice will receive non-fortified processed meats for comparison.
“If our hypothesis proves to be true, it will indicate that the risk of colon cancer can be reduced by eating a balanced diet,” researcher Eva Tornberg of Lund University told FoodNavigator. The important thing, Tornberg clarified, is that meats and antioxidant-rich foods be eaten at the same time in order to maximize efficacy.