Meat and milk intake in the rice-based Korean diet: impact on cancer and metabolic syndrome.Proc Nutr Soc 2016; 75(3):374-84PN
Over a few decades, Korean diet has changed from traditional diet, mainly composed of rice and vegetables, to Westernised diet rich, in meat and milk, along with the economic development and globalisation. Increasing prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases such as cancer and metabolic syndrome (MetS) is becoming a heavy burden to society and requires further attention. In this review, the association of meat and milk consumption with cancer and MetS among Koreans was discussed. Previous meta-analyses showed that meat intake was positively associated with increased risk of cancers, especially colon, as well as obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus, and that the intake of milk and dairy products was negatively associated with colorectal cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus, based on studies conducted mostly in Western countries. In Korea and other Asian countries, the association of meat and milk intake with cancers were inconclusive and varied by types of cancers. Conversely, milk intake was negatively associated with MetS risk as reported in Western countries. The difference in results between Korea and Western countries might come from the differences in dietary patterns and study designs. Most Koreans still maintain traditional dietary pattern, although rapid change towards Westernised diet is underway among the younger age group. Randomised clinical trials or prospective cohort studies with consideration of combined effects of various dietary factors in Korea and other Asian countries are needed to elucidate the impact of meat and milk or related dietary patterns in their diet.