ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Needling Away Your Headaches With Acupuncture
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
CANCER
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Method for Treating Cervical Lesions May Pose Pregnancy Risks
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
CAREGIVING
UV Lights, Fans May Curb TB Spread in Hospitals
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bye, Bye Back Fat?
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
DIET, NUTRITION
The Food Irradiation Story
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Used Legs and Arms Like Birds
Are Medical Meetings Environmentally Unfriendly?
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Brain Adapts to Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
Seniors Who Exercise Help Their Health
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
Workplace Wellness Seems to Really Work
Less Education May Mean Poorer Health
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Even Young Kids Can Learn CPR
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Life Expectancy in U.S. Hits New High
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
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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