Pan-fried meat increases risk of prostate cancer, new study finds

Research from the University of Southern California (USC) and Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC) found that cooking red meats at high temperatures, especially pan-fried red meats, may increase the risk of advanced prostate by as much as 40 percent.

Previous studies have emphasized an association between diets high in red meat and risk of prostate cancer, but evidence is limited. Attention to cooking methods of red meat, however, shows the risk of prostate cancer may be a result of potent chemical carcinogens formed when meats are cooked at high temperatures.

The researchers do not know why pan-frying poses a higher risk for prostate cancer, but they suspect it is due to the formation of the DNA-damaging carcinogens—heterocyclic amines (HCAs)—during the cooking of red meat and poultry. HCAs are formed when sugars and amino acids are cooked at higher temperatures for longer periods of time. Other carcinogens, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed during the grilling or smoking of meat. When fat from the meat drips on an open flame, the rising smoke leaves deposits of PAHs on the meat. There is strong experimental evidence that HCAs and PAHs contribute to certain cancers, including prostate cancer.

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