Health  

‘Barbecue meat can give you cancer’

When meat is grilled it becomes covered with two substances, called heterocyclic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Cooking meat over an open fire may be linked to cancer, emerging research claims. High-temperature cooking, such as barbecuing and pan-frying, leads to the formation of carcinogenic chemicals on meat, according to a growing swell of research.

These potentially-harmful substances have been found to cause changes in the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) that may increase the risk of cancer, according to a study published in April.

Experts insist this research does not mean we should all throw away our grills. However, they warn we need to be wary of the amount of grilled meat we consume.

When meat is grilled it becomes covered with two substances, called heterocyclic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The first type of chemical is formed when the meat’s proteins, sugars and muscle particles react to extremely high temperatures. The second substance is formed when the meat’s juice and fat catches flame and those flames stick to the meat, giving it its charred or grilled appearance.

Japanese scientists have examined both of these chemicals’ effect on rodents and the startling results were published in the 1980s. Rats who were fed a diet of HAA foods developed tumors in various organs.

When given PAHs, rodents developed cancers, including leukemia and tumors of the gastrointestinal tract and lungs. When meat is cooked in high temperatures, it becomes covered with heterocyclic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

However, these animals were given extremely high doses of both of these chemicals that humans don’t typically consume in their diets. Scientists have tested the theory that HAA can lead to cancer in humans and had their results published in the Journal of Urology in April.

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