Telomeres (consisting of repeating DNA chain sequences combined with proteins) affect cell lifespan, in part by controlling the number of cell divisions. Therefore, it is thought that people with longer telomeres may have a longer life expectancy. It is known that diet has a major effect on health status. Of particular interest are the effects of red meat consumption on health and disease states. It has been shown that an excess of red meat consumption may be associated with an increased incidence of colorectal and breast cancer.