Washington : Researchers have found that cooking red meat at high temperatures, especially pan-fried, may increase the risk of advanced prostate cancer by as much as 40 percent.
Mariana Stern from the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the lead researcher, also revealed that the study has provided important new evidence on how red meat and its cooking practices may put some people at the risk of getting the deadly disease.
“Red meat and poultry, cooking practices, genetic susceptibility and risk of prostate cancer,” she said.
The research has found that cooking red meat at high temperatures may produce a potent chemical carcinogen, which triggers the cancer.
Researchers examined data from nearly 2,000 men who participated in the study. Study participants were asked to complete a comprehensive questionnaire that evaluated amount and type of meat intake, including poultry and processed red meat.
Besides this information regarding cooking practices was obtained using color photographs that displayed the level of doneness. More than 1,000 of the men, who were included in the study, were diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
“We found that men who ate more than 1.5 servings of pan-fried red meat per week increased their risk of advanced prostate cancer by 30 percent,” Stern said.
“In addition, men who ate more than 2.5 servings of red meat cooked at high temperatures were 40 percent more likely to have advanced prostate cancer.
The team found that, hamburgers were linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer than steaks, especially among Hispanic men.
They also found that men with diets high in baked poultry had a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer, while consumption of pan-fried poultry was associated with increased risk.
Although, the researchers do not know why pan-frying poses a higher risk for prostate cancer, they suspect it is due to the formation of the DNA-damaging carcinogens—heterocyclic amines (HCAs)—during the cooking of red meat and poultry.
Besides these two, other carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed during the grilling or smoking of meat.
“The observations from this study alone are not enough to make any health recommendations, but given the few modifiable risk factors known for prostate cancer, the understanding of dietary factors and cooking methods are of high public health relevance,” Stern added.
This study has been published in the journal Carcinogenesis.