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Dietary intake of heterocyclic amines and cancers of the esophagus and gastric cardia.

​Regular intake of heterocyclic amines abundant in cooked meat and fish may boost an individual's chances of having esophageal cancer.

Heterocyclic amines are cancer-causing compounds present in cooked beef, pork, fish, and poultry. This study assessed the effect of increased dietary exposure to heterocyclic amines on esophageal and gastric cancer risk. A group of Swedish researchers studied the diets of 1,400 subjects and estimated the esophageal and gastric cancer odds ratios all of the participants in this study.

Researchers observed that subjects with high exposure to heterocyclic amines through frequent fried meat consumption exhibited a greater risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus than their counterparts who rarely consumed or completely avoided meat. However, no significant association was found between the consumption of heterocyclic amines in meat and the odds of developing cancer in the glands in the esophagus and the cardia region of the stomach. This study provided evidence that frequent consumption of heterocyclic amines in red meat may promote the development of cancer in the esophagus.

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