Carcinogens in Roasted Chicken?

Carcinogens in Roasted Chicken?
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Our bodies are less efficient at detoxifying heterocyclic amines—carcinogens formed from cooked muscle tissue—than once believed.

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That’s why we have to cook the crap out of them—literally. But seventy years ago, a Swedish researcher first reported that feeding mice roasted horse muscles caused cancer. This “cancer-producing substance” has since been identified. Heterocyclic amines are “the carcinogenic chemicals formed from the cooking of muscles…such as beef, pork, [poultry], and fish,” created when the building blocks of muscles react to high heat—roasting, frying, grilling, barbecuing. Seventeen different such carcinogens have so far been discovered in cooked meats.

And the National Cancer Institute goes on to explain how people eating meat well-done appear to have higher cancer risk than those eating meat cooked rare. So we’re kind of damned if we do, damned if we don’t, because, you know, we’re not supposed to eat meat rare any more, because of the risk of food poisoning. So, it’s like we can take our pick—cancer or E. coli.

The reason we’re so concerned these days about these cooked meat carcinogens is that last year, we learned that humans are much more susceptible than we thought. The prior research was done on rats, and rodents have this uncanny ability to detoxify 99% of the heterocyclic amines we stuff down their throats. But last year, we discovered that the human liver can detoxify only 50% of the carcinogens we get from eating cooked chicken, for example.

So, instead of 1% getting into our system—based on rat studies—we now know 50% gets into our bloodstream. So now, we’re 50 times more concerned.

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 veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

That’s why we have to cook the crap out of them—literally. But seventy years ago, a Swedish researcher first reported that feeding mice roasted horse muscles caused cancer. This “cancer-producing substance” has since been identified. Heterocyclic amines are “the carcinogenic chemicals formed from the cooking of muscles…such as beef, pork, [poultry], and fish,” created when the building blocks of muscles react to high heat—roasting, frying, grilling, barbecuing. Seventeen different such carcinogens have so far been discovered in cooked meats.

And the National Cancer Institute goes on to explain how people eating meat well-done appear to have higher cancer risk than those eating meat cooked rare. So we’re kind of damned if we do, damned if we don’t, because, you know, we’re not supposed to eat meat rare any more, because of the risk of food poisoning. So, it’s like we can take our pick—cancer or E. coli.

The reason we’re so concerned these days about these cooked meat carcinogens is that last year, we learned that humans are much more susceptible than we thought. The prior research was done on rats, and rodents have this uncanny ability to detoxify 99% of the heterocyclic amines we stuff down their throats. But last year, we discovered that the human liver can detoxify only 50% of the carcinogens we get from eating cooked chicken, for example.

So, instead of 1% getting into our system—based on rat studies—we now know 50% gets into our bloodstream. So now, we’re 50 times more concerned.

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 veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Nota del Doctor

For more on meat and carcinogens, check out these videos:

And check out the prequel: Fecal Residues on Chicken

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