A new study has linked red meats on the BBQ with kidney and bowel cancers, once again renewing the concern over the consumption of processed meats, especially when they are cooked and charred on a grill. Bacon and sausage evidently aren’t the only meat bad boys – you can add the beloved burger and steak to the list as well.
Writes Food World News on Nov. 9: “A recent study from the University of Texas MD Anderson concluded that diets high in meat may lead to an increased risk of developing RCC or Renal Cell Carcinoma – especially when meats are cooked using certain cooking techniques, such as barbecuing and pan-frying. These techniques generate carcinogenic compounds in the meat.”
In the study, the dietary intake in 659 individuals recently diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma – the most common type of kidney cancer – was observed. Factoring in genetic risk factors, researchers compared the results to nearly 700 control patients. Tests revealed that those who were suffering from kidney and bowel cancers routinely ate processed meats, red meats, and often grilled their meat.
“A meat-rich diet may increase the risk of developing kidney cancer through mechanisms related to particular cooking compounds,” commented lead study author Dr. Xifeng Wu. “Our study provides additional evidence for the role of red meat and white meat in RCC etiology.”
Results were published in the medical journal Cancer.
Adds NBC News: “Cancer experts have long known that grilling or barbecuing meat can make it carcinogenic. Burning or charring meat creates cancer-causing substances.”
The study results come on the heels of last month’s announcement from the World Health Organization that processed meats do indeed cause cancer. In the report, the WHO concluded that just a 50g serving of processed meat each day – around a few slices of bacon or ham – can increase the chances of colorectal cancer by nearly 20 percent.
“Limit the amount of time the meat is cooked at really high temperatures or over an open flame resulting in burning, smoking, or charring of the meat,” Dr. Wu recommended.
Susan Gapstur, vice president for epidemiology at the cancer society, agreed, stating that cancer-causing chemicals are discharged when foods, even vegetables, are burned to the point they develop crisped-up outer edges.
“The [University of Texas] study offers some clues that meat cooked at high temperature might increase the risk for cancer, especially among people with certain genetic mutations,” Gapstur said.