Meat consumption linked to cancer risk

ScienceDaily (Apr. 20, 2010) — People who eat meat frequently, especially meat that is well done or cooked at high temperatures, may have a higher chance of developing bladder cancer, according to a large study that The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center presented at the American Association for Cancer Research 101st Annual Meeting 2010.

“It’s well known that meat cooked at high temperatures generates heterocyclic amines (HCAs) that can cause cancer,” said study presenter Jie Lin, Ph.D., assistant professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Epidemiology. “We wanted to find out if meat consumption increases the risk of developing bladder cancer and how genetic differences may play a part.”

Meat-eating habits examined

According to the American Cancer Society, almost 71,000 new cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed in this country last year, and more than 14,000 people died because of the disease. Men are at much higher risk of developing bladder cancer than women.

HCAs form when muscle meats, such as beef, pork, poultry or fish, are cooked at high temperatures. They are products of interaction between amino acids, which are the foundation of proteins, and the chemical creatine, which is stored in muscles. Past research has identified 17 HCAs that may contribute to cancer.

This study, which took place over 12 years, included 884 M. D. Anderson patients with bladder cancer and 878 people who did not have cancer. They were matched by age, gender and ethnicity.

Well-done red meat nourishes cancer risk

The group with the highest red-meat consumption had almost one-and-a-half times the risk of developing bladder cancer as those who ate little red meat.

Specifically, consumption of beef steaks, pork chops and bacon raised bladder cancer risk significantly. Even chicken and fish — when fried — significantly raised the odds of cancer.

The level of doneness of the meat also had a marked impact. People whose diets included well-done meats were almost twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as those who preferred meats rare.

Source: Science Daily

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100419150827.htm