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Marinating Meat in Beer Before Grilling May Lower Carcinogens

Springtime means more people grilling outside, but grilling meat can create polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH8), which are the same carcinogens found in cigarette smoke and car exhaust. However, a recent study has found that marinating meat in beer before cooking it may inhibit the formation of PAH8.

For this study, the researchers marinated pork in Pilsner beer, nonalcoholic Pilsner beer, and Black beer. They then grilled the meat and compared the PAH8 levels to those in un-marinated, grilled meat.

They found that the Black beer had the highest scavenging activity, at 68%, the Pilsner nonalcoholic beer had a 36.5% scavenging activity and the Pilsner beer had 29.5%. Additionally, while both the marinated and un-marinated meats had PAH8s, the Black beer inhibited formation by 53%, followed by the nonalcoholic beer at 25%, and the Pilsner beer at 13%.

The researchers concluded that the higher the radical-scavenging activity activated by the beer, the higher the inhibitory effect on PAH8s.

Researchers from the University of Porto in Portugal and the University of Vigo in Spain conducted the study. It was published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

This is not the first study to uncover some of the health benefits of beer. Previous research suggests that a beer now and then may be good for your heart, if it’s consumed in moderation and with healthy foods.

Other studies suggest that beer could help raise HDL or “good” cholesterol, protecting against type-2 diabetes, and lowering the risk of dementia. Researchers believe that these positive health benefits are a result of the vitamins, minerals, and alcohol present in beer.

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