Beef additive may stimulate 

growth of breast cancer cells

Residual amounts of the growth promoter Zeranol, used in beef cattle, may have an estrogenic effect on the growth of normal and cancerous breast cells in humans, Ohio researchers reported here at the "Era of Hope" Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Meeting.

Dr. Young C. Lin, of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Ohio State University, in Columbus, tested serum, muscle tissue, and adipose tissue of cattle exposed to Zeranol in culture with normal and cancerous human breast cells. They found that serum, muscle extract, and adipose extract significantly elevated DNA synthesis in normal cells, with adipose extract 2.5 times more potent than muscle extract. Serum stimulated DNA synthesis in one of two cancerous cell lines tested.

"The greater mitogenic potency of Zeranol-adipose extract versus Zeranol-meat extract indicates the presence of other unidentified factors that may contribute to effects on breast tissue," Dr. Lin's team wrote in a meeting abstract. "The lack of growth response in [one cancerous cell line] to Zeranol-serum indicates dependence on estrogen receptors for mitogenic activity."

"We must be very cautious at this stage," Dr. Lin said. "At this point all we have done is define that this factor is capable of mimicking estrogenic action in gene amplification. In other words, these compounds act like estrogen at the molecular level, but we have no reason to believe they are harmful to the consumer. Diet studies need to be done in vivo, say in mice, to see how or if the digestive process affects this chemical's action."

"The FDA-approved levels of Zeranol are 150 ppb (parts per billion) for meat, 300 ppb for liver, 450 ppb for kidney and 600 ppb for fat tissue," Dr. Lin told Reuters Health. "Our laboratory samples had much lower concentrations, 0.34 ppb in our 1% solution." Dr. Lin again stressed that these were laboratory samples developed and monitored under ideal conditions.

Ann's NOTE: Many of us suspect that hormones added to meat causes problems. This study indicates that scientists can track this. The hormone appears to act as a promoter of breast cell growth.

Thanks to Reuters Health (Downloaded from Oncolink-U of Penn).

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