Attention all meat lovers: a recent study reported by the World Health Organization has shown that eating barbecued meat may jeopardize the health of our kidneys. The epidemiological study, conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Institute, compared several factors, such as meat intake (type and quantity), cooking method and genetic risk factors of 659 people recently diagnosed with kidney cancer and 699 people with good health. Participants were also interviewed to determine their level of physical activity, smoking habits, and alcohol use, in order to correct for these variables. According to Dr. Xifeng Wu, leader of the study, people with diets rich in barbequed or pan-fried red meat had a significantly higher risk of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC) than those who did not consume meats cooked at high temperatures. High temperature cooking, and especially charring meat, produces carcinogenic compounds, such as heterocyclic amines, which are subsequently metabolized by the kidneys. Kidney cells exposed to high levels of carcinogens may have a higher susceptibility to mutations that are linked to the formation of cancer. The study also showed that people with a particular variation in the gene ITPR2, which is known to have an association with kidney cancer, might be more susceptible to these risks of ingesting barbequed meat.
High temperature cooking, and especially charring meat, produces carcinogenic compounds, such as heterocyclic amines, which are subsequently metabolized by the kidneys.
Although some people may now be concerned about consuming barbecued meat, both the World Health Organization and the American Cancer Society suggest that it should simply be eaten in moderation. Wu and colleagues’ study sheds light on the possible dangers accompanied by consumption of barbecued meat. It is important to note, however, that correlation does not imply causation. The connection between barbecued meat and kidney cancer must be studied further in the future to determine the nature of this correlation.
Cha, A. (2015, November 9). BBQ, pan-fried meat and kidney cancer: 5 key takeaways from a new study. Retrieved November 11, 2015, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/11/09/barbecued-meat-and-kidney-cancer-5-key-takeaways-from-a-new-study/
Melkonian, S. C., Daniel, C. R., Ye, Y., Tannir, N. M., Karam, J. A., Matin, S. F., Wood, C. G. and Wu, X. (2016), Gene-environment interaction of genome-wide association study-identified susceptibility loci and meat-cooking mutagens in the etiology of renal cell carcinoma. Cancer, 122: 108–115. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29543
Staufenberg, J. (2015, November 9). Barbecued meat can cause kidney cancer, say US researchers. Retrieved November 11, 2015, from http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/barbecued-meat-can-cause-kidney-cancer-say-researchers-a6726831.html