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Author Topic: What are carcinogens?  (Read 3026 times)

Layne

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What are carcinogens?
« on: 11/05/2010 13:30:02 »
Layne asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I've heard grilling meats and veggies is bad because of carcinogens.  What are they and why are they bad?

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 11/05/2010 13:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline bobj14

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What are carcinogens?
« Reply #1 on: 22/01/2011 02:00:01 »
Something that can increase the risk of getting cancer.
 

Offline FuzzyUK

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What are carcinogens?
« Reply #2 on: 22/01/2011 15:51:42 »
Layne asked the Naked Scientists:
   
I've heard grilling meats and veggies is bad because of carcinogens.  What are they and why are they bad?

What do you think?

Grilling or frying bacon is supposedly naughty. Nitrates impregnated in the meat (and nitrosamines due to protein in meat breaking down) causes a problem when heated. Check these links out:

Bacon link to bladder cancer risk:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6194502.stm

'Burnt foods' linked to cancers:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7124501.stm

Dr Thomas Stuttaford answers your questions on carcinogens in food (Times Online):
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/talking_point/article731068.ece
« Last Edit: 22/01/2011 16:03:51 by FuzzyUK »
 

Offline CliffordK

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What are carcinogens?
« Reply #3 on: 22/01/2011 16:48:52 »
Grilling or frying bacon is supposedly naughty. Nitrates impregnated in the meat (and nitrosamines due to protein in meat breaking down) causes a problem when heated. Check these links out:

Aren't the nitrates added to the bacon?
You can buy nitrate-free (salt cured) bacon and ham.

 

Offline FuzzyUK

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What are carcinogens?
« Reply #4 on: 23/01/2011 00:49:49 »
Grilling or frying bacon is supposedly naughty. Nitrates impregnated in the meat (and nitrosamines due to protein in meat breaking down) causes a problem when heated. Check these links out:

Aren't the nitrates added to the bacon?
You can buy nitrate-free (salt cured) bacon and ham.

Yes, it was shown recently on a TV program called 'How it's made'. Meats are softened and injected with crap to preserve the product for a greater length of time than brine can do. 
 

Offline Variola

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What are carcinogens?
« Reply #5 on: 23/01/2011 11:25:20 »
Just a small point, but it is worth remembering that what is a carcinogen in vitro is not the same in vivo.

Parsnips, celery and coffee are 3 examples of that.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What are carcinogens?
« Reply #6 on: 23/01/2011 18:35:07 »
Odd as it may seem, the practice of adding nitrates to food was introduced because people didn't like getting botulism.
Personally, I'd rather take the rather small risk from nitrates than a rather bigger risk of food poisoning.

It's also probably important to realise that any food cooked until it is "browned" on the outside is likely to contain acrylamide (which is a known carcinogen) and probably other materials like PAHs and the corresponding heterocyclics that are also carcinogenic.

these things have always been part of our diet and, on the whole, they don't kill us.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

What are carcinogens?
« Reply #6 on: 23/01/2011 18:35:07 »

 

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