Researchers analyzed 15 studies between 1996 and 2003 containing 4,700 people. They found that consuming 30 extra grams of processed meat every day increased the risk of stomach cancer by 15 to 38 percent. The study is published in the "Journal of the National Cancer Institute."
"Our results... show very clearly that there is an association between increased consumption of processed meat products and stomach cancer," said lead researcher Susanna Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Processed meat contains nitrates that are added to give a longer shelf life to the products, but these chemicals may initiate stomach cancer.
"We hope that further studies will clarify the interaction between the consumption of processed meats and other factors, such as dietary factors and the effects of different bacteria on the incidence of stomach cancer," Larsson said.