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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Mice Are Not Men, Health Risk From Eating Well-Done Meat May Be Underestimated

Reasons to be wary of animal research results.
Mice are often used to test whether substances in food are harmful to humans. This requires that mice and humans metabolise substances in the same way. Humans have certain enzymes in more parts of the body than mice. The health risk associated with harmful substances in food may therefore be underestimated.

Researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health have adopted a mouse type where human enzymes have been inserted to examine whether people may be more sensitive to certain carcinogenic substances from heat-treated foods. They have obtained a better model to assess negative health effects in humans from substances in food using these mice.

The results show that the incidence of intestinal tumours increased from 31 per cent to 80 per cent in "human-like" mice who consumed substances from meat crust (i.e. the surface formed during heat-treatment).
And earlier research results may overestimate risks, too.

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