Need an excuse to pop open a cold beer? It turns out beer marinades cut the grilled meat cancer connection significantly.
Grilled meats are about to start flopped all over everyone’s summer plates, and while that may be a great thing for cutting down on saturated fats and such, there’s a very real grilled meat and cancer connection. Even the National Cancer Institute warns against meats cooked at high temperatures, but there’s good news, because a recent report in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry indicates that marinating meat in beer before it hits the grill actually reduces the number of carcinogenic compounds that form.
Researchers marinated pork chops for four hours in either regular pilsner, a non-alcoholic version of pilsner, or a dark ale and then threw the marinated chops on the grills. After they were cooked they analyzed the levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, also known as PAHS, found in the grilled meats. PAHs, by the way, are the compounds responsible for that grilled meat/cancer connection, and are known to increase your risk of developing cancerous cells.
What the researchers found was that dark ale cut PAH levels by 50%. The additional antioxidants that naturally occur in the dark beer might be the protective edge, researchers say, because PAHs need free radicals to fully form. Antioxidants go to work slowing the process of PAH formation in the first place. The use of antioxidants to kill cancer is nothing new, but finding them in beer as a preemptive strike against carcinogens definitely is exciting.
If you were looking for an excuse to have more beer at your next BBQ, you can pass this link around and thank us with karma points.
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For more stories like this one about cutting the grilled meat cancer connection, check out our regular health column.