Those who eat meat risk food poisoning from undercooked meat, but also exposure to cooked meat carcinogens in well-cooked meat. By boiling meat, non-vegetarians can mediate their risk of both.
The cooked meat carcinogens implicated in the promoting the cause, growth and spread of breast cancer, may also increase the risk of prostate cancer. The mechanism through which the consumption of well-done meat may increase prostate cancer risk is via the release of mutagenic compounds during cooking, the heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are chemicals formed when the muscles of mammals, fish, or birds, are cooked by high temperature methods such as pan frying or barbequing. And in chicken the temp doesn't have to be that high. Just baking at about 350 for 15 minutes leads to significant production of the heterocyclic amine phip. These cooked meat carcinogens are also associated with an increased risk of kidney cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and pancreatic cancer, which is not a cancer you want to get. How do you decrease your exposure to these potent mutagens? Well, fried bacon and fish are the worst, though given the popularity of skinless chicken breast that might lead to the greatest exposure. Now medium rare has less than well done, which may be why women who consumed meat very well done, seemed to have nearly 5 times higher risk for breast cancer than that of women who consumed their meats rare or medium done. But this raises the so-called paradox of preparing meat noted by the Harvard Health Letter. Well-cooked and you risk cancer, undercooked and risk e. coli. Eating boiled meat—not broiled, but boiled in water--is probably the safest. If you eat meat that never goes above 212 degrees Fahrenheit, both your urine and feces are significantly less DNA damaging compared to eating meat dry cooked at higher temperatures, meaning you have less mutagenic substances flowing through your blood stream and coming in contact with your colon.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Jonathan Hodgson.
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I've previously mentioned the E. coli or cancer conundrum in my video Carcinogens in Roasted Chicken? Animal products may also increase prostate cancer risk through other mechanisms (see The Answer to the Pritikin Puzzle and Cancer Reversal Through Diet?). More on pancreatic cancer in Largest Study Ever.
A similar study where they compared the excretion of carcinogens formed in processed meats can be found in Prevention Is Better Than Cured Meat.
Those eating out may find my video Fast Food Tested for Carcinogens useful, where chicken items from seven restaurant chains were tested for heterocyclic amines to see which was worse—the answer may surprise you.
In last Wednesday's video Estrogenic Cooked Meat Carcinogens I showed that these cooked meat carcinogens may stimulate breast cancer cell growth nearly as much as pure estrogen. In my last video PhIP: The Three Strikes Breast Carcinogen I showed that these chemicals may promote breast cancer invasiveness even more than estrogen. In the next video, Heterocyclic Amines in Eggs, Cheese, and Creatine?, I'll explore how even those eating vegetarian may be exposed to these compounds.
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