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Consumption of Red/Processed Meat and Colorectal Carcinoma: Possible Mechanisms Underlying the Significant Association

Hammerling, U.; Bergman Laurila, J.; Grafström, R.; Ilbäck, N.-G.

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Epidemiology and experimental studies provide an overwhelming support of the notion that diets high in red or processed meat accompany an elevated risk of developing pre-neoplastic colorectal adenoma and frank colorectal carcinoma (CRC). The underlying mechanisms are disputed; thus several hypotheses have been proposed. A large body of reports converges, however, on haem and nitrosyl haem as major contributors to the CRC development, presumably acting through various mechanisms. Apart from a potentially higher intestinal mutagenic load among consumers on a diet rich in red/processed meat, other mechanisms involving subtle interference with colorectal stem/progenitor cell survival or maturation are likewise at play. From an overarching perspective, suggested candidate mechanisms for red/processed meat-induced CRC appear as three partly overlapping tenets: (i) increased N-nitrosation/oxidative load leading to DNA adducts and lipid peroxidation in the intestinal epithelium, (ii) proliferative stimulation of the epithelium through haem or food-derived metabolites that either act directly or subsequent to conversion, and (iii) higher inflammatory response, which may trigger a wide cascade of pro-malignant processes. In this review, we summarize and discuss major findings of the area in the context of potentially pertinent mechanisms underlying the above-mentioned association between consumption of red/processed meat and increased risk of developing CRC. © 2016, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Automatic Tags

Dietary patterns; fat peroxidation; haem; morphogenetic pathways; N-nitroso compounds; nitrosyl-haem; red/processed meat, intestinal carcinogenesis

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