By: Dr. Jordan Robertson ND
We publish a bi-monthly cancer magazine that focuses on various issues in cancer care. Here is one of our most inquired about articles, looking at dietary carginogens and prostate cancer risk.
If you’ve got this far into reading about cancer care, you know that diet plays a big role in the incidence and progression of cancer. I attended conferences in April 2015 and 2016 that focused on dietary carcinogens in prostate cancer, and how to reduce our exposures. Chemicals found in meats that have been charbroiled, barbecued or overcooked (to “medium”) have direct stimulation on the prostate, and incidence of prostate cancer increases with increasing amounts of these toxic chemicals over a lifetime.
Every meat has the potential to be a source of exposure. The research clearly indicates that oven baking your meats reduces the production of these heat based molecules and so does flipping meats every minute while grilling. How big of a difference? For some meats, up to a 2000 fold increase in carcinogens was seen when grilled one side than the other before flipping, or a 4000 fold increase between grilling and oven baking.
When working with patients with prostate cancer we print a list of these cooking sources, foods to strictly avoid and how to protect your meat when you have to grill. I haven’t seen such scary and legitimate data with respect to food and cancer as this, and likely these principles can be adopted across many types of cancer. Patients in clinical trials (Cipolla, 2009) who reduced their exposure to these chemicals had reduced pain scores, reductions or stabilization in PSA and improved quality of life. A more recent study (Cipolla, 2010) showed improvement in survival just by manipulating the diet of men with prostate cancer. This topic is not addressed by your oncologist, and should be included as part of your integrative treatment plan.
Grill wisely!