ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Massage Fosters Healing in Bereaved Relatives
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Beware of Dog Bites
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
Fall Sports Peak Time for Lower Leg Damage
CANCER
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
HPV Vaccine Has Higher Allergic Reaction Rate
Vitamin D May Improve Melanoma Survival
CAREGIVING
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Transition From Home to Hospital Rarely Seamless
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
DIABETES
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
DIET, NUTRITION
More Educated Choose Healthier Foods, But Pay More
Imagine Food Aromas That Prevent Overeating
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Climate Change Linked to Longer Pollen Seasons
Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
EYE CARE, VISION
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
Stem Cells Repair Damaged Corneas in Mice
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
FITNESS
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
Go To Work But Skip The Car
Good Sleepers More Likely to Eat Right
Be Healthy, Spend Less
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fondness for Fish Keeps Japanese Hearts Healthy
Irregular Heartbeat Tied to Alzheimer's Disease
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Exercise Helps Reduce Falls in Young and Old
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Most Depressed Teens Don't Get Treatment
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
SENIORS
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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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