grilled steaks on the grill with flames, grilled meat

Recently, experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a branch of the World Health Organization) stirred up controversy when they announced that processed meats are human carcinogens. They went so far as to suggest that red meat generally is a possible or probable human carcinogen.

High Heat and Meat Create Carcinogens:

Now there may be independent corroboration. Epidemiologists have found a link between a meat-rich diet and kidney cancer. They surmise that the carcinogens formed when meat is exposed to high heat or open flame are responsible for the significantly higher chance of developing renal cell carcinoma.

The kidneys work to remove toxic substances from the bloodstream and so may be exposed to higher levels.

Genetic Vulnerability Plays a Role:

The researchers, based at MD Anderson Cancer Center, found that people with a specific variant in the ITPR2 gene were especially susceptible to the danger of charred meat. People with this genetic variant might do well to cut back on meat cooked at high temperatures.

Cancer, online Nov. 9, 2015

Scientists have known for years that dangerous chemicals form when meat is cooked on the barbecue grill or under the broiler. There are a few tricks that can be used to decrease them, in addition to eating less meat or cooking it at lower heat.

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  1. Yoly

    My meat recipe is,
    Eat much less meat — once a week — and when you do only red meat from catttle that has not been fed hormones or other chemicals, is grass fed, and has not been sent to feed lots. There are small responsible farmers that make this type of meat available.

    Considering the terrible current state of our food we need to educate ourselves about the food we eat and make alternative choices.

  2. Mary

    I just read that WHO has decided that GMO foods are probably not carcinogenic.

    Roundup antibiotic remaining in the produce is a health food????

    Yet, red meat is carcinogenic? Not just processed meats, either.

    I wonder how much pressure they received to come up with this?

  3. Jennifer Bahnsen

    I believe animals were put on this earth for us to use as food. My question about these studies relating to red meat being a carcinogen is did they take into account the hormones and antibiotics that are fed to the animals. Could it be that these added chemicals are the problem and not the meat itself?

  4. cpmt

    I read that it causes stomach and colon cancer. And in my opinion today, we eat too much meat red or white. This article is and gives very good info.

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