ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Pain More a Cause of Arthritis Than a Symptom
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Birthmark or Blood Vessel Problem?
Coordination Has Led to Quicker Heart Treatment
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
DENTAL, ORAL
A Sweet Way to Shield Baby's Teeth
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Caffeine May Offer Some Skin Cancer Protection
Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Old-Growth Forests Dying Off in U.S. West
Seasons Arriving 2 Days Earlier, Study Says
1976 Italian Dioxin Release Damaged Babies' Thyroids
EYE CARE, VISION
Glaucoma Treatment Can Prevent Blindness
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Protein Might One Day Prevent Blindness
FITNESS
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Diet, Exercise May Slow Kidney Disease Progression
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
Tune Up Your Health With Music
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Women Who Run May Benefit From Extra Folic Acid
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
The Dark Side of Vegetarianism
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
The Unmedicated Mind
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Iodine in Prenatal Vitamins Varies Widely
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Add your Article

Marinades Help Keep Grilled Meat Safe

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- You can have your steak and eat it, too, without producing harmful cancer-causing compounds, new research shows.

As a matter of fact, marinating meat in antioxidant-rich spice blends can reduce the risk of these heterocyclic amines (HCAs) forming by more than 80 percent.

"If you are concerned about carcinogens, marinating a product, and this would be any kind of muscle food product, is a good way to dramatically reduce the formation of HCAs," said study author J. Scott Smith, a professor of food science at Kansas State University. His research was published in the current issue of the Journal of Food Science. "The marinades would have to be rich in spices," Smith added.

And although the researchers didn't specifically check this, Smith suspects that the antioxidants found in red wine and in many fruits and vegetables might also do the trick.

HCAs are "suspected" human carcinogens produced in muscle foods that have been cooked at high temperatures. HCAs are created when heat acts on amino acids and creatinine in animal muscle.

Barbecuing produces the most HCAs, followed by pan-frying and broiling. Baking, poaching, stir-frying and stewing produce the least HCAs.

The researchers tested three different commercial marinade blends (Caribbean, Southwest and herb), purchased from a local grocery store, on fresh eye of round beef steaks.

The steaks (about 3.3 ounces each and one-fifth of an inch thick) were marinated for one hour (turning several times) in one of the blends, then cooked in a skillet at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes on each side.

Steaks marinated in the Caribbean blend had an 88 percent decrease in HCA levels. The herb blend reduced HCAs by 72 percent, while the Southwest blend reduced levels by 57 percent.

All the marinade blends contained two or more spices from the mint family, which are rich in the antioxidants rosmarinic acid, carnosol and carnosic acid.

The marinades contained maltodextrin and/or modified starch ingredients or salt that could have played a role in reducing HCA production due to water retention, the authors stated.

"We ate the beefsteaks, and they were edible," said Smith, who added that round steak was not his usual choice of steak. "I use these marinades at home."

The steaks were cooked on an electric skillet, but the results could probably be extrapolated to outside grilling as well. "Actually, a grill runs at higher temp, so the effect probably would be more dramatic," Smith said.

More information

Consumer Reports has more on grilling basics.

Safe Grilling

In addition to marinating meats, there are other ways to reduce HCA risk. James Felton, associate director of the University of California, Davis, Cancer Center, has these suggestions:

* Cook your meat in the microwave for a minute or so before grilling. This gets the HCAs out of the meat and into the juice, which you should throw out. "Then you can cook it really well done and have no HCAs," Felton said. Precooking a hamburger for a few minutes in the microwave reduces HCAs by up to 95 percent.
* Reduce the overall temperature by flipping the meat multiple times each minute.
* Don't cook meat to "well done." Use a meat thermometer and cook poultry to an internal temperature of 165 to 180 degrees F, ground beef, pork and lamb to 160 to 170 degrees F, and beef steaks and roasts to 145 to 160 degrees F.
* Grill vegetables. "Vegetarian cooking on the grill isn't going to give you any of these things," Felton said.



SOURCES: J. Scott Smith, Ph.D., professor, food chemistry, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.; James Felton, Ph.D., associate director, University of California, Davis, Cancer Center; Journal of Food Science

Last Updated: Aug. 22, 2008

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