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E. The Link Between Well-done Meat and Cancer

Narrator: This is Science Today. Cooking meat at very high temperatures produces harmful chemicals called heterocyclic amines. Mark Knize, a biomedical scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been studying the link between lifetime consumption of well-done meat and cancer.

Knize: It's kind of an intriguing problem - what really causes cancer in people and are these compounds involved. One of them that we isolated here at the Lawrence Livermore Lab actually causes breast cancer in female rats and colon cancer and prostate cancer in male rats and those are just the kinds of cancers that people on Western sort of a diet, which is high in meat, high in fat - those are the kinds of cancers they get.

Narrator: Knize and his colleagues discovered, however, that flipping meat every minute while cooking, greatly reduces these carcinogenic compounds.

Knize: Flipping more often makes lower amounts of the heterocyclic amines - it also actually cooks the meat a little faster, which is a great benefit. So you could cook faster if you flip about once a minute, is what we discovered.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.