An Oxford University professor has defended bacon after US researchers said it increased the rate of breast cancer.

Prof Valerie Beral, director of the university’s Cancer Epidemiology Unit, dismissed research from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston saying that three slices of bacon a day could increase breast cancer risk by more than 20 per cent.

She said: “Available evidence indicates that red meat consumption has little or no effect on breast cancer risk.

“Vegetarians do not have lower risks of breast cancer than non-vegetarians, supporting evidence that meat consumption is unlikely to play a major role.”

  • Our top stories