Feeding cows with beef has been linked to a range of health issues, including increased risk of cancer and death.
But researchers at the University of Michigan have found that cows fed a form of beef called “gut-free” are less likely to develop cancer.
The study, published online this week in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, looked at the effects of feeding cows with a mix of ground beef, ground beef with added corn, and grass-fed beef that contains either the herbicide Roundup or corn gluten, a type of corn used in corn syrup.
The researchers found that the cow that was fed the gut-free beef had higher levels of antibodies against cancer-causing cells and had less tumor cells in its body.
The cattle that were fed corn-based feed also had lower levels of tumor cells and lower levels that could be attributed to tumor-fighting antibodies.
The researchers did not find evidence that the animals were being treated with any other herbicide.
The results were consistent with previous research, which found that gut-fed cattle were less likely than grass-based cattle to develop colorectal cancer.
A recent study from the National Cancer Institute found that cattle fed grain-based diets for three years were 40 percent more likely to contract colorecctal adenomas, a form known as squamous cell carcinoma, than those fed pasture-fed or grain-fed diets.
But this study was the first to look at the effect of the gut free beef on coloreceptors.
“We found that this kind of beef-based diet increased the ability of the colonic epithelium to become more resistant to colonic cancer,” said lead author Dr. Thomas Buehler, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the university.
“That is a really important finding because colorencectal cancers are very common in cattle and people.”
Buehler said it is not clear how the gut food was developed.
But he said that the study suggests that a more general trend is that gut food is a good choice for beef cattle because it is less prone to disease.
“In general, cows are pretty good at going to the ground and having a diet that is good for their bodies,” he said.
Buehl said the findings are significant because they suggest that cattle grazing on a diet low in saturated fat, or low in salt and sugar, is beneficial for human health.
“When we look at animal studies, you know, there are a lot of people that get better health with eating less salt and not eating so many calories,” he added.
Buhl said it will take more studies to determine whether these effects hold up in humans.
He said the study was done on cattle and that the results are consistent with other studies, including a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Bacteria that grow on cow gut are a common source of foodborne infections, particularly for people who are allergic to dairy products, which can be associated with the development of coloreactors.
But the gut bacteria of beef cattle are thought to be more diverse than the bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract of cows.
In the current study, researchers used stool samples from animals fed gut-based and ground beef to compare the effect the animals had on colonic health.
The study also compared the gut microbes of animals fed the guts-free and ground-bison beef to those of animals that were grazed on pasture.
“The animals that we were trying to study have the best intestinal bacteria that we have ever seen in humans, but they also have a very diverse microbiome that’s different from the gut microbiome of cows,” said Buehl.