Fried, baked food compound poses no threat, major study finds
TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- There seems to be little or no link between breast cancer and acrylamide, a substance found in many baked and fried foods, according to the largest epidemiological study on the subject conducted to date.
"The data are accumulating, and it appears that acrylamide in the diet does not appear to be an important breast cancer risk factor," said study author Lorelei Mucci, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.
"We probably couldn't rule out that eating very high levels of acrylamide is associated with a very, very small increase in risk, but in terms of it being an important public health risk factor for breast cancer I don't think acrylamide is a major risk factor," she said.
Mucci plans to present the finding Tuesday at the American Chemical Society annual meeting, in Boston. The paper is one of 40 exploring various facets of a possible association between acrylamide and cancer.
Acrylamide is classified as a "probable" human carcinogen but only based on earlier animal studies in which the animals were exposed to levels of acrylamide up to 100,000 times higher than that normally consumed through foods.
The substance forms naturally during the cooking process of mostly carbohydrate-rich foods such as potato chips, french fries, breads, cereals and even coffee.
Even though the data on human health has remained unclear, food safety authorities in Europe have started to curb acrylamide in foods.
According to the study authors, about 30 percent of calories consumed among U.S. and European populations contain acrylamide. The average adult consumption is 0.5 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day. Children consume higher levels.
For the current study, Mucci and
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