Doctor's Note

Caution may also be necessary with athletic protein supplementation. See Heavy Metals in Protein Powder Supplements. In general, Some Dietary Supplements May Be More than a Waste of Money.

More information on the Meatless Monday campaign can be found on their website

Measuring toxin levels in hair or nail clippings is a noninvasive way to measure long-term exposure levels. See Hair Testing for Mercury and Hair Testing for Mercury Before Considering Pregnancy for another instance of where it’s used.

Heterocyclic amines are not the only class of meat carcinogens also found in cigarette smoke. See my video When Nitrites Go Bad. While the body can detox itself of both nitrosamines and these cooked meat chemicals within hours or days, some pollutants found in meat can persist in the body. See Industrial Pollutants in VegansFlame-Retardant Chemical Contamination, and How Fast Can Children Detoxify from PCBs?

This is the final video of my four-part series on heterocyclic amines—or is it? In Estrogenic Cooked Meat Carcinogens, we explored the role of these cooked meat chemicals in tumor growth. In PhIP: The Three Strikes Breast Carcinogen, we explored their role in cancer invasion. Then, Reducing Cancer Risk In Meat-Eaters offered some mediation strategies. The next two videos also involve these carcinogens—but only as an experimental model of cancer formation, in order to test the power of various plants to stop this transformation.

Also, check out my associated blog posts for more context: Avoid Cooked Meat Carcinogens; Foods that May Block Cancer Formation; and Raisins vs. Energy Gels for Athletic Performance.

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  • Veganrunner

    Nasty picture!

    • Paddycakes

      Good picture.

    • kat

      Wouldn’t this apply to heated ( pasteurized ) milk?

  • guest

    “There is little data on the toxicological properties of IQ[4,5-b], and the potential risk of this HAA for human health is unknown. IQ[4,5-b] is mutagenic in the Ames reversion assay in strain TA98 in the presence of liver S9 obtained from polychlorinated biphenyl pretreated rats and a more potent mutagen in tester strain YG1024 (47).”

  • guest

    “A number of HAAs have been reported to induce tumors at multiple sites in experimental ANIMALS (5−8). Several HAAs have been identified in human urine following the consumption of cooked meats, indicating that HAAs are readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract (9−11). Human tissues metabolically activate HAAs to genotoxins (12, 13), and some EPIDEMIOLOGICAL investigations have linked the frequent consumption of foods such as grilled meats containing HAAs with an elevated risk of colon and breast cancer (14−16).”
    In other words not once have HAA’s been proven to cause tumour growth in humans or increase mortality rates through randomized clinical trials.

    • Coacervate

      Nor has it been proven that a person, committed to satisfying their unreasonable addictions, was swayed by a reasonable argument.

      • guest

        If by “unreasonable addictions” you mean a physiological need then yes. Its just one reason why vegetarians and vegans end up giving up and eating meat.

        • ted

          SOME vegetarians and vegans end up giving up and start
          eating meat again because we live in meat-centered culture–not because of physiological needs. If humans had a physiological need for meat, then there would be few, if any, lifelong vegetarians and vegans.

    • ted

      As far as I can determine, not once have smoking cigarettes
      been directly PROVEN to cause lung cancer in humans. This is not because smoking
      cigarettes does not cause lung cancer in humans, it’s because of limitations in
      study designs. I think the critique you just provided falls into a similar

      • guest

        “cigarette smoking is one of those activities that was so patently dangerous, it returned risk ratios so powerful researchers knew it was highly unlikely the findings were due to chance or confounding from other potentially carcinogenic factors. Not to mention that this powerful risk relationship was backed by a totally non-brainer hypothesis: People who fill their lungs with toxic gases for years on end will be more likely to get sick. Duh.”

        • ted

          Using your argument I’ll say that people who fill their bodies with toxic materials (edible food-like substances) for years on end will be more likely to get sick. “Duh.”
          Don’t forget, years ago what you NOW call a “no-brainer” hypothesis,” was to many a novel “idea” that was rejected out of hand as having no merit. Seems silly now that smoking was ever considered a safe practice. I’m guessing that in 20-40 yrs it will seem silly that a meat-centered diet was ever considered a safe thing to practice.

    • Gary Loewenthal

      I’m a healthy ethical vegan, but it’s a fair question IMHO. However…

      – We can often find out compelling, potentially life-saving dietary information from population and in vitro studies, especially if there is a preponderance of such studies and they’re basically well-formed. It’s difficult to conduct 100% controlled clinical trials on every aspect of diet.

      – A related video on this site,, has some human-focused research. Not a “gold standard” study in which some people were secretly subjected to meat fumes (you’d run into ethical problems there), but enough to make you wary of breathing that stuff in, much less cooking it. Often, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

  • Ashland Lindy

    What about smoke from incense? As harmful as cigarette for these toxins?

  • James

    Typo in sentence above video and email.. though = through. ?

    • Thank you James! Corrected.

      Anytime anyone sees an error please also email me directly so I can correct it ASAP:

      • luvmypug

        How much protein can one absorb in one sitting?

        • Protein is broken down into its smaller component amino acids in the stomach and intestine. They are well absorbed. Infants can absorb intact proteins but in adults we are less likely to do that unless the intestinal tract is damaged. So as adults we don’t directly absorb protein but seem to be able to readily absorb amino acids. Alot of confusion about protein how much and quality and for specific populations like body builders or endurance athletes. At this point data supports it would be very hard not to meet your needs if you consume adequate calories. The best three articles that are well referenced science based are three articles in Dr. John McDougall’s monthly newsletters available for free on his website. The dates are 12/03, 4/07 & 1/04. There seems to be good data to support not increasing our protein intake above our needs since we can’t store it and the liver and kidneys have to metabolize and eliminate the excess. There is also good data to support getting our protein from plant over animal sources. Stay tuned to as the science keeps coming…

      • sf_jeff

        Should we be surprised you have an email that sounds like a bio-marker? jk

  • abeleehane

    Your mention of (supplemental)creatine referred only to a speculation that was not tested on anyone. I would be interested in sources of subsequent testing on vegans supplementing with creatine and possibly Creapure creatine( a German made product claimed to be devoid of any contaminant.)

  • So, I can take 5g of Creatine a day as insurance against age related neurodegenerative diseases? One specific study, one review:

    The study says “high consumption”. 5g … isn’t that high. Or is it?

  • What is the specific “high” daily dose of creatine that may be problematic?

  • Ronald Chavin

    Unless he is talking to a British audience, Dr. Greger is mispronouncing the word, “amines.” Americans aren’t supposed to pronounce that word the way Dr. Greger pronounces it:

    “Greger” is a German name. In Germany, “Greger” would be pronounced, “Gray-gah.”

    • Bruce Cropley

      Thats’ appaling ;)

  • This link ties in with the potential benefits of cheese and “The French Paradox” as well… :-)

  • James N

    What would be a “high consumption of creatine” supplements?