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Fried Food Chemical Not Cancer Risk

By Carol P. Choy, CONTRIBUTING WRITER

A chemical commonly found in potato chips and french fries does not increase the risk of cancer, according to a study by the School of Public Health (SPH) and Karolinska Institute of Stockholm.

The study refutes previous claims that the chemical acrylamide, which is found in many fried foods, causes increased risk of three types of cancer.

Acrylamide is currently listed as a probable human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Acrylamide is formed when some foods are cooked at high temperatures.

“It’s very reassuring to know that when we looked in detail at the effects of consuming foods containing high levels of acrylamide, we found no increased risk for three major cancers,” said Lorelei Mucci, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the SPH. “The findings don’t condone eating junk food, however.”

This study is the first to assess the role of dietary acrylamide in humans. No increased risk of large bowel, bladder or kidney cancer was found to be linked to the subtance.

The researchers followed 987 cancer patients and 538 healthy individuals in Sweden over five years. Using a list of more than 188 types of food with medium to high content of acrylamide, researchers were able to show no higher risk of cancer associated with individuals who had higher intake of acrylamide-rich foods.

The study was published in the Jan. 28 issue of the British Journal of Cancer.

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