As Dennis pointed out, mitochondria in every cell in our bodies are the big
sources of free radicals and active oxygen species. These are directly and
indirectly (via formation of cytotoxic aldehydes) mutagenic. Similar
chemicals are formed by oxidation of fats in food products as pointed out by
Lawrence. Cellular systems exist to control and detoxify these chemical
threats. Many other endogenous threats attack our tissues moment-by-moment.
That is why cell constituents are constantly turned over, recycled and
> carbon like that of burned toast and caramelizing, also cause
> ...it appears to be true data. Should not eat browned,
> burned foods.
I think we need to keep these risks in perspective. There is much reason to
believe that rodent assays at high doses routinely overestimate carcinogenic
potential when extrapolated to low doses. Feeding substances at the maximum
tolerated dose (MTD) often increases rate of cell division in many tissues
by direct toxic effects. This indirectly increases the rate of cancer
formation. So you say, what's the difference, direct, indirect, who cares?
It makes a difference when you try to extrapolate down to realistic doses.
The assumption built into the regulatory system is "one molecule-one
mutation." This is true for a small, but significant class of chemicals
that precisely screw up processes involving DNA. But for chemicals that
moderately increase cancer rates via generalized toxic effects when given at
unimaginably high doses, the assumption is ridiculous, and leads to gross
overestimation of risk.
As Ames, et al. note (PROC. NAT. ACAD. SCI. 87: 7777-7781):
"99.99% (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals
that plants produce to defend themselves. Only 52 natural pesticides have
been tested in high-dose animal cancer tests, and about half (27) are rodent
We are naturally bathed in chemicals that theoretically cause cancer. The
key word here is theoretical. It all depends on the model.
> Anyway, no matter how you twist it,REMEMBER, EVERY OTHER
> AMERICAN WILL GET CANCER.
I don't believe that is true. According to the American Cancer Society
"Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US, exceeded only by
heart disease. In the US, 1 of every 4 deaths is from cancer."
"The National Cancer Institute estimates that approximately 8.2 million
Americans alive today have a history of cancer."
Maybe I am missing some statistical nuance, but what you wrote about cancer
incidence doesn't seem to jive with this.
I am not convinced. I am going to continue to eat roasted salmon, fried
onions, bratwurst, buttermilk pancakes etc. because they are so damn good.
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