Like your meat sizzling in a pan? You may want to reconsider: a new study finds that pan-fried meat may be associated with an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.
Announced on Thursday, the study found that men who ate more than 1.5 servings of pan-fried red meat per week were 30 percent more likely to have advanced prostate cancer than those who rarely ate it.
Also, men who ate more than 2.5 servings of red meat cooked by any high-temperature method, such as broiling and grilling, had a 40 percent increased risk of advanced prostate cancer compared with men who rarely ate meat cooked at high temperatures.
To reach their findings, study researcher Mariana Stern and her team surveyed men in California, examining the red meat-eating habits of nearly 1,900 prostate cancer patients and 1,096 men without prostate cancer.
Researchers say more work needs to be done before making dietary recommendations but advise men to limit their intake of pan-fried meat, "to be on the safer side," said Stern, an epidemiologist at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. The findings were published online in the journal Carcinogenesis.
Cooking method matters
Red meat cooked at high temperature is thought to increase the risk of advanced prostate cancer due to compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs). PAHs form when fat is cooked at high temperatures -- when rising smoke from dripping fat leave PAHs deposits on the meat. HCAs form when sugars and other molecules in the meat are heated -- and higher temperatures and longer cooking times cause more HCA to form, the researchers noted.
Previous studies have yielded mixed results -- some have shown a link between eating red meat and prostate cancer, and others found no increased cancer risk.