Formation and Human Risk of Carcinogenic Heterocyclic Amines Formed from Natural Precursors in Meat

Authors

  • Mark G. Knize,

    Corresponding author
    1. Biosciences Directorate of the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California.
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  • James S. Felton PhD

    Corresponding author
    1. Biosciences Directorate of the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California.
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  • This work was performed under the auspices of the US Department of Energy by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract no. W-7405-Eng-48 and was supported by NCI grant no. CA55861.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 7000 East Avenue, Livermore, CA 94550; Phone: 926–422–5656; Fax: 925–422–2282; E-mail: felton1@llnl.gov.

Abstract

A group of heterocyclic amines that are mutagens and rodent carcinogens form when meat is cooked to medium and well-done states. The precursors of these compounds are natural meat components: creatinine, amino acids, and sugars. Defined model systems of dry-heated precursors mimic the amounts and proportions of heterocyclic amines found in meat. Results from model systems and cooking experiments suggest ways to reduce their formation and, thus, reduce human intake. Human cancer epidemiology studies related to the consumption of well-done meat products are listed and compared in this review.

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