Meat mutagens linked with kidney cancer risk

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

An article published early on November 9, 2015 in the journal Cancer reports the finding of Xifeng Wu, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center of a greater risk of renal cell carcinoma (RCC, the most common type of kidney cancer) in association with the intake of mutagenic compounds formed in meat cooked at high temperatures, especially that which has been pan fried or barbecued.

The study compared 659 newly diagnosed renal cell carcinoma patients with 699 healthy control subjects. Dietary questionnaire responses provided information on type and frequency of meat intake, which was computer-analyzed for levels of three heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and one polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) formed during cooking.

Intake of red, white or fresh meat was higher among those with renal cell carcinoma in comparison with the control group. Those whose levels of the HCA compound PhIP were among the top one-third of subjects had an adjusted 54% higher risk of renal cell carcinoma than those among the lowest third, and for the HCA MelQx, the risk was 95% greater for those whose intake was highest. The effect of PhIP was greater among people with variants in the ITPR2 and EPAS1 genes that increase renal cell carcinoma susceptibility.

"Our study provides additional evidence for the role of red meat, white meat, and 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenyl-imidazo(4,5-b)pyridine (PhIP) in renal cell carcinoma etiology and is the first study of dietary intake of mutagenic compounds and renal cell carcinoma risk to suggest an association with 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo(4,5-f) quinoxaline (MeIQx), one of the most abundant heterocyclic amines commonly created in grilling, barbequing, and pan-frying meats at high temperatures," Dr Wu announced. "Also, our study is the first to evaluate the impact of renal cell carcinoma susceptibility variants, identified via genome-wide association studies, on the association between intake of mutagenic compounds and renal cell carcinoma risk."

"The intake of meat may increase the risk of RCC through mechanisms related to the cooking compounds MeIQx and PhIP," the authors conclude. "Further research is necessary to understand the biological mechanisms underlying these interactions."

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Prostate cancer risk increases with pan fried meat consumption
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In the November 2012 issue of the journal Carcinogenesis, associate professor of preventive medicine Mariana Stern of the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine and her colleagues reveal an association between pan fried meat intake and a higher risk of 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," reported Dr Stern. "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 study analyzed data from 717 men with localized prostate cancer, 1,140 advanced cases and 1,096 men without the disease who were enrolled in the California Collaborative Prostate Cancer Study. Questionnaires completed by the subjects provided information on poultry and red meat intake, including cooking practices.

The team uncovered an association between advanced prostate cancer and a high intake of red meat cooked at high temperatures, as well as with well done meat. A reduction in the risk of advanced disease was correlated with baked poultry intake. When meat intake was examined by type, hamburger was found to increase prostate cancer risk. "We speculate that these findings are a result of different levels of carcinogen accumulation found in hamburgers, given that they can attain higher internal and external temperatures faster than steak," Dr Stern commented.

"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," she remarked.

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Health Concern

Cancer adjuvant therapy

For a cancer patient who appreciates the importance of a properly planned diet, the task is daunting. The diversity of the population minimizes the likelihood of a universal diet; nonetheless, most diets are hyped as being nutritionally correct for everyone.

Avoid synthetic and refined foods: white flour products and sugar as well as trans fats (those fats altered by overheating, hydrogenation, and refining). Avoiding well-done meats and exposure to heterocyclic amines (formed during high temperature cooking) eliminates another significant cancer source (Zheng et al. 1998).

Tumors are primarily obligate glucose metabolizers, meaning they require sugar for survival. Even though the brain normally uses high amounts of glucose, hepatomas (a tumor of the liver) and fibrosarcomas (a sarcoma that contains fibrous connective tissue) consume roughly as much glucose as the brain. Some Americans continuously satisfy cancer's appetite, ingesting as much as 295 pounds of sugar a year.

Dr. Jeff Bland advises selecting foodstuffs low on the glycemic index to avoid gratifying the tumor's appetite. The glycemic index lists the relative speed at which different foods are digested and raise blood sugar levels. Each food is compared to the effect of the same amount of pure glucose on the body's blood sugar curve.

Glucose itself has a glycemic index rating of 100. Foods that are broken down and raise blood glucose levels quickly have higher ratings.

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