High Temperature Cooked Meat and Cancer!!

High Temperature Cooked Meat and Cancer!!

Must be feeling watery when you see this!!


Meat is one of the daily consumed products all around the globe. In cooking of meats grilling and deep frying are also some of the cooking practices done in homes. The high temperature cooking of meats including frying and grilling are known to produce the heterocyclic amines (HA) and there occurs a mutagenic activity this mutagenic activity was demonstrated by Japanese scientists on charred grilled fish. 

The formation of HA mutagens in meats and in models systems has been shown to be the condensation of creatine or creatinine with amino acids and sugars, or their thermal decomposition products. There are more than 25 mutagenic heterocyclic compounds till known. Heterocyclic amines are carcinogenic and it has been identified to cause cancer several locations of body in long term studies in mice. 

Four HAs are commonly found in meats cooked under North American household conditions: PhIP (2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[ 4,5-b]pyridine), MeIQx (2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[ 4,5-f]quinoxaline), DiMeIQx (2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline) and IFP (2-amino- 1,6-dimethylfuro[3,2-e]imidazo[4,5-b]pyridine).

Fig: HA identified in cooked meats
The contribution of HA and cancer is not clear but it has been found a positive correlation between them. There was a positive correlation between the high BMI women of Sanghai and breast cancer and some research had also reported to have colorectal adenomas and lung cancer. Data suggest that PhIP plays a significant role in human carcinogenesis. Tumours are induced in liver, lung, haematopoietic system, forestomach, and blood vessels in mice, and colon, small intestine, prostate, mammary gland, hematopoietic system, liver, Zymbal gland, skin, clitoral gland, oral cavity, and urinary bladder in rats. It is notable that some HCAs induced tumours of the colon, mammary gland and prostate, which are common cancers in Western countries and have been associated with Western life style, i.e. high fat/meat consumption. Similarly IQ induces liver tumours in cynomolgus monkeys (non-human primates), after chronic dosage of 10 or 20 mg/kg for 5 days per week. 

The meat has its own health benefits as well as health hazard please don’t cook meat at high temperature (grilling or frying) this produces heterocyclic amines which are the probable and possible carcinogens. So be smart and prevent from being cure of diseases.

+abhishek khadka  is a student M. Tech. Food Technology from Central Campus of Technology and also initiator for Food Activism.


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