Grilled Meat May Increase the Risk of Having Cancer

September 23, 2014 – From antiquity, treatment and smoking foods such as meat, as a conserving method or else, were still practiced by mankind. The question, is it safe? red meat or fish soaked in fatty oil, and seasoned with salt, spices (including pepper) before being grilled on the fire is one of the most common causes of cancer of the esophagus and pancreas, announced the doctors of the Vancouver General Hospital in a scientific conference held recently in Vancouver, Canada.

When meat (including fish) is cooked directly over the fire (grilled meat), the procedure involves the formation of carcinogenic and mutagens compounds  (compoundsthat can damage our DNA), which makes it more dangerous than smoking or even drinking, Said Dr. S.M. Chandramohan, professor and head, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology.

Statistical analysis of the data showed that people who regularly eat smoked or grilled meatwere at risk up to nine times more likely to develop cancer compared to people who do not have them on their diet. The study found that people who smoked had an eight times higher risk of developing cancer than others, and those who consume alcohol were four times more likely.

The way the meat is prepared and cooked is also important. At high temperature (grill, fryer, stove, barbecue, etc.) or too long cooking leads to the formation of carcinogenic compounds.Creatine (a combination of amino acids produced by the liver, kidney, and pancreas) contained in the muscles, then binds to the amino acids of proteins forming the heterocyclic amines (also known asHCAs, include a group of 20 chemical compounds formed during cooking of meat that is well done, fried, or barbecued). These have the potential to cause genetic mutations, thus leading to formation of cancer cells. The more the meat is cooked, the higher the temperature, the greater the number of these pathogenic compounds).

When cooking on the grill or barbecue, two other carcinogens are present: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and benzopyrenes. The first is found in the calcined parts, on the surface of themeat; the second comes from the combustion of the fat of the briquettes. The smoke that comes out, they are deposited on the meat. Their toxicity is that they can bind to proteins or to DNA and alter the normal functioning of cells.

In addition, reusing oil in frying meat could also be factor that triggers formation of cancer cells,the scientists find. It is not recommended to Individuals to categorically or completely alt “deepfries or smoked meat’, as there is not enough evidence “yet” to say so with certainty, said one of the researchers Dr. Rajendran. However, the study helps us know which foods are high-risk and should be avoided as much as possible.

Reduce or Avoid Grilled Meat and Barbecue in the Summer  

What to keep in mind is not to abuse smoked or grilled meat, although eliminating it completely in your diet is the wisest choice. Individuals who cannot get rid of the practice can use some tips to prevent the formation of carcinogens. For example, cut out the fat before cooking to avoid the smoke and benzopyrenes. In addition, marinating meat with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, red wine, but without oil; and baking it on a “not too high” heat or grill top.

References:  April 18-22, 2009 American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Meeting in Denver, CO. First author: Kristin Anderson, PhD, associate professor and cancer epidemiologist with the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center.

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