Life Extension Magazine®

People grilling meat that is being linked with mortality

In The News: March 2018

Testosterone replacement enhances sexual function; grilled meat linked to higher mortality risk for breast cancer survivors; whey promotes muscle maintenance; and green tea protects cognitive function.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Grilled Meat Linked With Higher Mortality for Breast Cancer Survivors

A new study shows a link between higher consumption of barbecued, grilled, and smoked meat and increased risk of mortality for survivors of breast cancer.*

It was previously known that meats cooked in various ways at high temperatures are high in cancer-related substances and linked to breast cancer. The new study, led by Humberto Parada, Jr., MPH, scrutinized the effect of these foods specifically on 1,508 women who had already survived the disease.

The subjects were questioned concerning their consumption in each decade of their lives of four types of barbecued, grilled and smoked meat, and were asked to specify in which seasons these foods were most frequently eaten. In a follow-up five years later, the subjects were asked to provide the same information regarding their meat-eating habits since the previous interviews had been conducted.

Researchers found that, compared to subjects with low consumption of the meats in question, both pre- and postdiagnosis, high consumption was associated with a 31% increased risk of all-cause mortality.

Additionally, high consumption before diagnosis was associated with a 23% higher risk of all-cause mortality, and high smoked-meat consumption specifically was linked with a 17% increased risk of all-cause mortality and a 23% increased risk of breast-cancer mortality.

This study corroborates warnings to the public from Life Extension® concerning these risks from as far back as 2003.

What you need to know

In health news, breast cancer survivors should avoid burnt meat; more research on the importance of testosterone replacement in men; validation of whey protein’s muscle-maintaining properties; and a mouse study found that green tea reduces diet-induced cognitive dysfunction.

Editor’s Note: All-cause mortality risk in this study was found to be at similar levels for women who reported high prediagnosis barbecued, grilled, and smoked meat consumption but low postdiagnosis consumption.


*J Natl Cancer Inst. 2017 Jan 5;109(6).

Testosterone Replacement Therapy Improves Sexual Function

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Recent research documents improvements in sexual function, urinary function and quality of life among men who received testosterone replacement therapy.*

The prospective study involved 656 men (average age of 60.7 years) with low testosterone levels and symptoms of testosterone deficiency, among whom 360 were regularly treated with testosterone for up to 10 years. The remainder of the subjects, who chose not to be treated with testosterone, underwent biannual routine clinic visits.

The researchers found that men who received testosterone therapy experienced significant decreases in their International Prostate Symptom Score, post-voiding bladder volume and Aging Males Symptoms scale, which assesses health-related quality of life. The percentage of patients without erectile dysfunction significantly improved in the testosterone treated group, from 17.1% at the beginning of the study, to 74.4% of the study at the last visit.

Editor’s Note: In contrast, subjects who did not receive the hormone experienced deterioration in erectile function as well as in voiding functions.


*J Urol. 2017 Jul 18.

Whey Protein Could Help Maintain Muscle

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A study reported in the journal PLOS ONE found positive effects for supplementation with whey protein in combination with calcium, creatine, omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D in the muscles of older men.*

The study included 49 men aged 70 years and older who received the whey-based supplement combo or a placebo for six weeks. At the end of the six-week period, the participants continued their regimens while engaging in a resistance and high-intensity interval training program for 12 weeks.

At the end of the first six weeks, those who received whey experienced an increase in lean body mass as well as strength. While both groups experienced gains in strength during the second phase of the study, those who received the whey-based supplement combination had greater upper body strength than the control group.

Editor’s Note: The gradual loss of muscle that occurs with aging known as sarcopenia is associated with frailty, falls and disability in late life.


*PLoS One. 2017 Jul 18;12(7):e0181387.

Green Tea Protects Against Cognitive Dysfunction

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An article published in The FASEB Journal reported that supplementation with a polyphenol found in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), helped alleviate adverse effects of a high-fat and high-fructose diet in mice.*

The finding could be of significance to millions of individuals who consume a Western diet, which is high in fat and added sugars.

Three-month-old mice were fed a standard diet or a high-fat, high-fructose diet with or without the addition of EGCG.

After 16 weeks, water maze testing revealed a protective effect for EGCG supplementation against memory impairment in mice that received the high-fat and fructose diet.

This green tea polyphenol (EGCG) was also associated with protection against diet-induced neuronal damage.

Neuroinflammation was lowered by EGCG via inhibition of MAPK and NF-kB pathways, in addition to decreased expression of the inflammatory mediator tumor necrosis factor-alpha.

Editor’s Note: In neuronal cell cultures, elevated glucose and insulin resistance were reduced by EGCG via improvements in oxidized cellular status and mitochondrial function.


*FASEB J. 2017 Nov;31(11):4998-5011.