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On the grill of a dilemma.

Memorial Day is close at hand, and along with it, the beginning of barbeque season. But Carl Baum, M.D., wants parents to be aware of the delicate balance they must achieve between cooking burgers on the grill long enough to protect against bacterial contamination and not cooking them so long as to produce large amounts of heterocyclic amines (HCAs), proven human carcinogens. Marinating the meat first in a sugar/oil/vinegar mixture significantly reduces the level of HCAs produced by grilling beef. Beware the tomato-based marinade, however, which has been shown to double or even triple the HCA level in cooked beef, Dr. Baum said at a pediatrics meeting. The addition of antioxidants to raw hamburger in the form of tart cherries reduces by more than 10% the HCA levels produced by flame cooking. A quaff of stout ale with a meal of grilled hamburger also has been shown to inhibit DNA damage from ingested HCAs. While the kids can't imbibe, of course, at least the beered-up parents will get temporary relief from their feelings of guilt about damaging their offsprings' genetic material.
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Title Annotation:INDICATIONS
Author:Kubetin, Sally Koch
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2005
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