While many have flocked to eating chicken in an attempt to find a healthy alternative to red meat, it seems the domesticated fowl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, according to a new study.
Published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, the study, carried out by researchers from the UK’s Oxford University, revealed that eating chicken puts consumers at a higher risk of various types of cancers, including melanoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“Poultry intake was positively associated with risk for malignant melanoma, prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” officials wrote in their findings, noting that more than 23,000 of the study’s participants were diagnosed with different cancers over a mean 5.7 years of follow-ups.
Chicken, however, was not the only focus of the study. Officials also looked into the red meat and processed meat intakes.
For those who consumed red meat, a link to colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer was detected. Researchers also determined that individuals who ate processed meat had a “positive” association risk to malignant melanoma.
In order to conduct the research, officials tracked the diets of 475,488 Britons over a period of eight years between 2006 and 2014, analyzing their food intake and the diseases and illnesses that they contracted. Participants ranged between 37 and 73 years of age.
However, it should be noted that officials indicated in the study that their work was simply an “association study,” which suggests that only a correlation was detected between poultry, meats and cancers.
Officials have stated that further studies need to be conducted in order to shed more light on the links between meat consumption and cancers.