The warm summer evenings are favoured for grilling. The smoky, charred meat grilled at high temperatures or over open flames, that brings wonderful flavour might raise health risks. According to the evidence accumulated in the past two decades have turned up the fact, that compounds in red and processed meats produce carcinogenic compounds because of undergoing biochemical reactions that are capable of altering the eater’s DNA. This could cause cancer risk— colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancers, in particular.
What Agents Causes Cancer?
According to research conducted at Vanderbilt University, it was found that high intake of well-done meat and high exposure to meat carcinogens, particularly HCAs, may enhance the risk of human cancer. Heterocyclic amines (HCAs), known as heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs), are a class of chemical that develops in cooked red meat and, and to a lesser extent, in poultry and fish.
Another class of chemicals, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) have also been associated with cancer. When fat and juices from meat are grilled directly over a heated surface or open fire drip onto the surface, it creates PAHs. Smoke containing PAHs adhere to the surface of the meat.
Increased temperatures and longer cooking times lead to greater levels of HAAs and PAHs. Enzymes in our bodies then change these chemicals into compounds that cause DNA damage, contributing to the development of cancer. Numerous researches have demonstrated that kind of damaging potential in cell cultures and animals, including rodents and primates.
But Is Meat Really Causing Cancer?
Research also illustrates that a person’s genetic makeup may influence how they respond to the chemicals. The evidence shows that the risk of developing cancer for people who eat well-done meat may vary considerably.
Further, there’s mounting evidence that individual who eat a lot of charred steak or well-done burgers than the average person is more likely to have a risk of cancer. If you eat a lot of charred meat, for say, two to three meals a week for many years, it could result in cellular damage that raises cancer risk.
Apart from having grilled meat, people also alongside consume sugary drink. The sugar in these foods and drinks are also likely to contribute to obesity, which is a factor in causing cancer.
In addition, the risk of cancer is considerably lower in person who eats charred meat than who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day or heavily imbibes alcohol. But you should be aware of the fact, people who are meat lovers are slowly consuming potentially carcinogenic compounds daily, produced by the smoke. The exposure may accumulate over time and thus causes damage in cellular structure.
Long story short, you can enjoy the occasional burned burger or ribeye but be careful of having a blackened steak every night for dinner.