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Acrylamide in Food May Increase Cancer Risk

Aug 23rd 2015 at 1:13 AM

While the jury remains out on the potential link between acrylamide and cancer in humans, researchers have found this chemical does increase cancer risks in rodents. With that in mind, people who want to take steps to lower their cancer risks may find limiting exposure to this chemical, sometimes found in food, is a good step to take.

Acrylamide is a chemical that is found in many consumer products, including food packaging. Trace amounts of it are sometimes found in these food products. Researchers in America and Europe have also found acrylamide in some foods that were heated above 248 degrees Fahrenheit, including potato chips and French fries. The levels in these foods are high enough that the World Health Organization and several others have declared acrylamide in foods a big concern.

While the Agency for Research on Cancer and the National Toxicology Program do consider this substance a “probable” human carcinogen, definitive human studies have not yet been performed. Some case-control studies, however, have shown a possible link between acrylamide consumption and cancer in the bowel, kidney, breast, oral cavity and ovaries, among others.

People who wish to limit their dietary exposure to acrylamide will find that decreasing the cooking time of some foods, such as potatoes, can help. So can blanching potatoes before frying and post-drying in a hot air oven after frying potatoes. Cigarette smoke also serves as a major source of acrylamide exposure, so kicking this habit or avoiding the smoke of others can also prove helpful.

Diet and cancer have been strongly linked in many regards. If concerns about acrylamide are present, altering diet may be the best step to take. While this chemical’s link with cancer is still under study, enough evidence has been presented to date that it is raising alarm bells for some. Those concerned about cancer are urged to discuss their potential risks with their healthcare providers.

About Author
Southlake Oncology, a Choice Cancer Care Treatment Center, located in the Southlake and Grapevine area, is a community-focused oncology practice that delivers exceptional care to North Texas cancer patients with a variety of cancer diagnoses and blood disorders.

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