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Nutrients. 2017 May 18;9(5). pii: E514. doi: 10.3390/nu9050514.

Dietary Intake of Meat Cooking-Related Mutagens (HCAs) and Risk of Colorectal Adenoma and Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

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Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy.
Department of Economics, University of Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy.
Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy.
Department of Chemistry, Biology and Biotechnology, University of Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy.


Much evidence suggests that the positive association between meat intake and colorectal adenoma (CRA) and cancer (CRC) risk is mediated by mutagenic compounds generated during cooking at high temperature. A number of epidemiological studies have estimated the effect of meat-related mutagens intake on CRC/CRA risk with contradictory and sometimes inconsistent results. A literature search was carried out (PubMed, Web of Science and Scopus) to identify articles reporting the relationship between the intake of meat-related mutagens (2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f] quinoxaline (MeIQx), 2-amino-3,4,8-trimethylimidazo[4,5-f] quinoxaline: DiMeIQx, benzo(a) pyrene (B(a)P) and "meat derived mutagenic activity" (MDM)) and CRC/CRA risk. A random-effect model was used to calculate the risk association. Thirty-nine studies were included in the systematic review and meta-analysis. Polled CRA risk (15229 cases) was significantly increased by intake of PhIP (OR = 1.20; 95% CI: 1.13,1.28; p < 0.001), MeIQx (OR = 1.14; 95% CI: 1.05,1.23; p = 0.001), DiMeIQx (OR = 1.13; 95% CI: 1.05,1.21; p = 0.001), B(a)P (OR = 1.10; 95% CI: 1.02,1.19; p = 0.017) and MDM (OR = 1.17; 95% CI: 1.07,1.28; p = 0.001). A linear and curvilinear trend was observed in dose-response meta-analysis between CRA risk in association with PhIP, MDM, and MeIQx. CRC risk (21,344 cases) was increased by uptake of MeIQx (OR = 1.14; 95% CI: 1.04,1.25; p = 0.004), DiMeIQx (OR = 1.12; 95% CI: 1.02,1.22; p = 0.014) and MDM (OR = 1.12; 95% CI: 1.06,1.19; p < 0.001). No publication bias could be detected, whereas heterogeneity was in some cases rather high. Mutagenic compounds formed during cooking of meat at high temperature may be responsible of its carcinogenicity.


cancer prevention; colorectal adenomas; colorectal cancer; heterocyclic amines (HCAs); meat intake

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