The idea that red meat causes cancer has been around for some time but was until recently still up for debate. However scientists at the University of California have now identified a particular type of sugar called Neu5Gc naturally present in red meat but absent in human tissue. They found that Neu5Gc is perceived as a foreign substance and therefore triggers an immune response. Regular consumption of red meat induces chronic inflammation which eventually promotes tumor formation. The sugar Neu5Gc is also found in high concentrations in certain types of cancerous tissue. Researchers induced this inflammatory state in mice by injecting them with Neu5Gc which resulted in cancer rates increasing five-fold confirming the hypothesis. This research solidifies the link between red meat consumption and cancer. Next to environmental impact and animal well-being, health risk can now be added to the list of reasons to abstain from meat consumption.