Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Food Nutr Sci. 2012 Jul 1;3(7):905-913.

Developing a heme iron database for meats according to meat type, cooking method and doneness level.

Author information

1
Nutritional Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, 6120 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD, 20852.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Animal studies have demonstrated that iron may be related to carcinogenesis, and human studies found that heme iron can increase the formation of N-nitroso compounds, which are known carcinogens.

OBJECTIVES:

One of the postulated mechanisms linking red meat intake to cancer risk involves iron. Epidemiologic studies attempt to investigate the association between heme iron intake and cancer by applying a standard factor to total iron from meat. However, laboratory studies suggest that heme iron levels in meat vary according to cooking method and doneness level. We measured heme iron in meats cooked by different cooking methods to a range of doneness levels to use in conjunction with a food frequency questionnaire to estimate heme iron intake.

METHODS:

Composite meat samples were made to represent each meat type, cooking method and doneness level. Heme iron was measured using atomic absorption spectrometry and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry.

RESULTS:

Steak and hamburgers contained the highest levels of heme iron, pork and chicken thigh meat had slightly lower levels, and chicken breast meat had the lowest.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although heme iron levels varied, there was no clear effect of cooking method or doneness level. We outline the methods used to create a heme iron database to be used in conjunction with food frequency questionnaires to estimate heme iron intake in relation to disease outcome.

KEYWORDS:

Meat; database; heme; iron

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center