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Home News and Update Year 2009 Eating Charred Meat may Increase Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Eating Charred Meat may Increase Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

The Hindu
22 Arpil 2009
Los Angeles, USA

Eating burned or charred meat may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer, a new study has found.

Meat–eaters who preferred their steak very well done were almost 60 percent more likely to get pancreatic cancer compared to those who ate steak less well done or did not eat steak, according to the study presented Tuesday at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, in Denver.

In the study, researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health (UMSPH) analysed data on the meat intake, preferred cooking methods and doneness preferences of nearly 63, 000 participants taking part in the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Multi–Center Screening Trial. Over the course of nine years, 208 developed pancreatic cancer.

Researchers then estimated carcinogen intake based on overall meat consumption and doneness preferences. Those with highest intake had 70 percent higher risk than those with the lowest intake, according to the study.

Frying, grilling or barbecuing meat to the point of charring can form carcinogens, which do not form when meat is baked or stewed, explained Kristin Anderson, an associate professor at the UMSPH.

Anderson suggesting cooking meat thoroughly enough to kill bacteria but avoiding charring. The precursors of cancer–causing compounds can also be reduced by microwaving the meat for a few minutes and pouring off the juices before cooking it on the grill.

“We cannot say with absolute certainty that the risk is increased due to carcinogens formed in burned meat,” Anderson said. “However those who enjoy either fried or barbecued meat should consider turning down the heat or cutting off burned portions when it’s finished.”

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