High temperature cooking increases risk of prostate and breast cancer by 50%

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meat-on-the-grill(NaturalHealth365) For some Americans, there’s nothing like a well-done steak at their favorite restaurant, served sizzling on the platter. Or, a hot burger, fresh off the grill at a backyard barbecue.  But, most people have no ideas about how these ‘tasty’ foods can trigger prostate and breast cancer.

In truth, very few realize that eating food cooked at high temperatures – through grilling, broiling, roasting, searing, or frying – exposes the body to dangerous chemicals and toxins, including DNA-altering mutagens and dangerous toxins known as advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

The result is an Increased risk of cancer, heart disease, premature aging and a host of other serious health risks associated with oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

High temperature cooking brings dangerously high health risk

Research has shown the incidence of certain cancers is notably increased in people who eat meat cooked at high temperatures. When raw foods are heated beyond 300 degrees F, chemical changes take place. Those changes damage cells and alter proteins in the body after the food is ingested.

Mutagens are agents that damage human DNA, increasing the risk of serious diseases, including breast cancer and prostate cancer. Glycation end products are toxins that damage your body’s proteins, leading to loss of functionality and tissue damage – which can foster serious health conditions due to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Glycation products are also known to cause weight gain and bring about premature aging.

Warning: Are you eating heavily cooked foods?

Enzymes, hormones, hemoglobin, antibodies, collagen, and neurotransmitters are all examples of critical molecules that can be altered by AGEs, sometimes with devastating effects on your health. While it can be impossible to completely eliminate AGEs from your body, your chosen cooking methods play a pivotal role in how much your body is exposed to mutagens and glycation products. A considerable body of research has shown heavily cooked foods damage genes and threatens health.

A University of Minnesota study found that women who ate overcooked hamburgers increased their risk of breast cancer by more than 50 percent over those who chose rare or medium done burgers. Similarly, the Iowa Women’s Health Study showed women who consistently ate well-done steak, hamburgers, and bacon had a 4.62-fold increased risk of breast cancer compared to women who consumed these meats cooked rare or medium done.

Men are likewise at risk. A recent study found those who consumed just 1.5 servings or more of processed meat on a weekly basis increased their risk of advanced prostate cancer by 50 percent. The same held true for men consuming one or more servings of grilled red meat or well-done red meat. Given that some men routinely eat high-temperature cooked food almost daily, it is little wonder men suffer with prostate cancer in epidemic numbers as they age.

Cooking foods at high temperatures leads to the formation of gene-mutating chemical compounds known as heterocyclic amines. Heterocyclic amines have been linked to cancer of the prostate, breast, colorectal, esophageal, lung, and liver.

How to protect yourself from increased risk of breast cancer and other diseases

Because certain naturally occurring enzymatic activities can also produce heterocyclic amines as a byproduct, it may be unrealistic to expect you will be able to completely eliminate them from your system. Even seemingly healthy choices – like grilled fish – can contain a significant amount of gene-mutating heterocyclic amines depending, on how it was prepared.

Animal-based foods high in fat and protein are generally AGE-rich and often trigger new AGE formation during cooking. By contrast, choosing carbohydrate-rich foods such as vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and milk mean relatively low levels of AGEs, even after cooking.

While you may not be able to eliminate the production of AGEs entirely, you do have some control over how quickly they damage proteins. Reduce the amount of simple sugars and starches you consume, along with avoiding exposure to overcooked foods, and you will slow their progress.

Certain supplements, such as carnosine, benfotiamine, and pyridoxal-5-phosphate, are also believed to act as powerful anti-glycation agents. These supplements can be useful as a complementary tool since even healthy foods and the avoidance of high-heat cooked meals cannot guarantee your system will stay void of toxic AGEs.

References:
http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2015/8/live-longer-by-changing-how-you-cook/page-01
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s001250051591#page-1

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  • Parker Tobin

    Barbecued meats are a favorite in my family. Week-ends mean company and lighting up the grill. After reading this article I will try to take the grill out less often.

  • Lotti Gable

    I am trying to change to a more vegetarian diet. You just gave me one more reason to do it.