60 percent increased prostate cancer risk from overcooked meat

August 2, 2009


In this weather it’s tempting to bring out the barbecue, though personally I have never had a decent steak off one yet, and there is always the problem of overcooking. Blackened steak might taste ok whether on the barbecue or the grill, but it does pose a health hazard – particularly for men.

Overcooking causes problems for vegetables too as they lose their nutritional value, but there are possible carcinogenic effects in meat, and eggs, that are definitely hazardous to health. When they are cooked at very high temperatures they produce a chemical compound called PhIP, which many believe can cause DNA changes, or can metabolize harmless bodily enzymes into carcinogens.

There is already a well documented link with PhlP and breast cancer and now the University of Minnesota has undertaken research that they say shows that that regularly eating well-done, or burned, meat could boost the risk of pancreatic cancer by a staggering 60 percent. It’s because overcooking creates heterocyclic amines (H.A.s), which contribute to increased risk of pancreatic cancer and it’s in the burned portions of the meat that the greatest concentration of H.A.’s are found.

So turn down the heat and turn up your chances of avoiding cancer.


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