Gorging on cheeseburgers and ice cream could help to fight cancer.

Eating burgers can help a person fight cancer

Eating burgers can help a person fight cancer

A fatty acid found in both meat and dairy enhances the body's ability to treat some types of the disease, according to new research.

Excessive snacking on meat and dairy has previously been associated with a heightened risk of cancer but the new findings show that a nutrient found in beef and the popular dessert may be beneficial for a person's health.

Trans-vaccenic acid (TVA) is a "long chain" acid found in grazing animals but the human body cannot produce any of its own.

Study leader Professor Jing Chen, of The University of Chicago, explained how his team screened TVA using human cells and mice to assess how tumours grew for two specific types of cancer - melanoma and of the colon.

He said: "We found that TVA actually enhances anti-tumour immunity by activating an important immune pathway. It is both amazing and intriguing."

However, the experts have stressed that the research should not be used as an excuse to overindulge on both red meat and cheese.