A multi-year agreement between Beyond Meat and the American Cancer Society (ACS) is announced in order to enhance studies on the relationship between plant-based meat and cancer prevention.
The groundbreaking pledge aims to improve knowledge of how plant-based meats support healthy eating habits and their potential to prevent cancer. The study is an important first step toward ongoing research on plant-based proteins and will assist ACS in laying a platform for the collecting of data on diet and plant-based meat.
“American Cancer Society guidelines have long recommended a diet rich in plant foods with limited intake of processed and red meat,” said William L. Dahut, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at the American Cancer Society.
“While short-term research studies have shown that switching to plant-based meat improves risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol levels and body weight, research in this area is still in its early stages, particularly in relation to cancer,” he added.
Researchers can find cancer risk variables among the more than 300,000 participants in the ACS’s Cancer Prevention Studies. The new partnership will support ACS’ continuing Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) data gathering efforts and enable a portfolio of downstream research that is essential for figuring out if plant-based proteins, particularly plant-based meat, may be used to prevent cancer.
The results of the SWAP-MEAT study were released by Stanford University School of Medicine in 2020 and were published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
In that study, which examined the effects of substituting Beyond Meat products for animal-based meat on cholesterol levels and heart disease risk factors, it was discovered that participants’ vital health indicators improved when they switched from animal meat to Beyond’s proteins over an eight-week period.
An important step forward
“Beyond Meat and the American Cancer Society’s agreement is a critical step forward in conducting studies on cancer and plant-based meat in diets – a research area that has historically been lacking and builds upon the foundational research we’re doing as part of the Plant-Based Diet Initiative at the Stanford University School of Medicine,” said Christopher Gardner, PhD, Director of Nutrition Studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and the Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford University.
Red and processed meats may play a role in raising the risk of breast cancer and some types of prostate cancer, according to recent studies. The International Agency for Research on Cancer categorized red meat as a carcinogen in 2015 that raises the risk of colorectal cancer.
Red meat has been identified as a possible carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and in light of this information, The American Cancer Society currently advises avoiding processed and red meats in favor of other protein sources.
Shifting to plant-based meat
“We are honored to enter this agreement with the American Cancer Society, a leading authority on cancer research… One of our core goals at Beyond Meat is to positively impact human health – and we’re committed to taking action by supporting trusted, scientific and evidence-based research on the benefits of shifting the protein at the center of the plate from animal-based meat to plant-based meat,” said Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown.
*According to the American Cancer Society, Beyond Meat does not participate in or contribute to the organization’s research or data collecting.
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