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Burned Meats and Prostate Cancer Risk

Meat On A Stick grilling

Eating relatively high amounts of red and processed meats is conclusively linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer, and one possible cause may be due to the carcinogens formed from cooking meats at high temperatures. Now, a study published in Carcinogenesis links eating too much red meat cooked at high temperatures with advanced prostate cancer.

Study researchers looked at data from approximately 2,000 participants of the California Collaborative Prostate Cancer Study. About half of the men were diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

The study did not find a link between overall consumption of red or processed meat and prostate cancer risk. But men who ate the highest amounts of red meats cooked at high temperatures and well-done red meats had a 30 to 40 percent increased risk of advanced prostate cancer compared to those who consumed the least. Researchers also found that men with diets high in baked poultry had a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer, while consuming pan-fried poultry was associated with increased risk.

Charring meat and cooking it at high temperatures forms heterocyclic amines (HCAs), a possible carcinogen that may play role in the increased risk seen in this study, the authors conclude.

Sources: Joshi AD, Corral R, Catsburg C, Lewinger JP, Koo J, John EM, Ingles S, Stern MC. “Red meat and poultry, cooking practices, genetic susceptibility and risk of prostate cancer: results from the California Collaborative Prostate Cancer Study.” Carcinogenesis. 2012 Jul 20. [Epub ahead of print]

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