(AscendHealthy)- A previously unknown pathogen has been discovered in beef and cow’s milk products. The discovery may shed more light on the link between red meat and certain types of cancers in humans. Previous research has shown that consuming more than 18 ounces of beef and other types of red meat per week increases the risk of developing colorectal cancer. No new guidelines regarding the consumption of beef have been issued at this time.
Learn How to Minimize Your Exposure to Beef Pathogens Below!
New Pathogen Found in Beef
Bovine Milk and Meat Factors (BMMF), a newly discovered pathogen found in beef and cow’s milk, is believed to cause inflammation in humans when beef products are consumed in excess. The pathogen is similar to common bacteria and viruses and is classified as a plasmidome, which are closely linked to plasmids, or circular, extrachromosomal genetic elements.
Risks Associated with BMMF
At this time, the risks associated with BMMF are largely unknown. However, researchers presume there is a connection between the pathogen and the development of cancer, most notably colorectal cancer, in humans. They also assume that infants may not have the necessary immunity against BMMF, and should, therefore, never be given cow’s milk before they reach a certain age.
How to Limit Pathogen Exposure
The American Institute for Cancer Research advises consumers to limit their exposure to known beef pathogens and cancer-causing agents by limiting the amount of beef and red meat they consume. Guidelines specify that you should eat no more than three servings of red meat per week, which is less than 18 ounces of cooked red meat per week. Infants should not drink cow’s milk until they are a year old.
No new guidelines regarding the consumption of beef and cow’s milk have been issued in light of the new discovery. However, you should take care to limit the amount of red meat you and your family consume.
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