Debbie Nicholson

Even once weekly fried food raises risk up to 37 percent

Past studies have shown that high-heat cooking methods may increase the risk for prostate cancer. But when adding oil/fat as in deep frying it could be of particular concern and has not been expressly examined in association to prostate cancer, according to the study’s abstract.

Researchers from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center find not only do consuming fried foods such as doughnuts and french fries raise the risk for prostate cancer but that risk is slightly higher when it comes to more aggressive forms of the cancer.

For this study Dr. Janet L Stanford, PhD, MPH, and colleagues examined data from two prior population-based case-control studies that included 1,549 men with prostate cancer and 1,492 matched healthy men for control. The men were Caucasian and African American, aged 35 to 74 years and residents of the Seattle area. All participants filled out a dietary questionnaire concerning their normal food consumption including specific fried foods; french fries, fried chicken, fried fish and doughnuts.

The researchers controlled for factors such as age, race, family history of prostate cancer, body-mass index and PSA screening history when calculating the association between eating deep-fried foods and the risk for prostate cancer.

The research revealed men reported eating fried foods once weekly had an increased risk for prostate cancer in comparison to those men who reported eating types of fried foods less than once monthly.

For men who had consumed fried foods at least once a week had an increased risk for prostate cancer ranging from 30 to 37 percent.

Also revealed was weekly consumption of these fried foods were linked with a slightly greater risk of more aggressive prostate cancer.

In their conclusion researchers write; “Regular consumption of select deep-fried foods is associated with increased prostate cancer risk. Whether this risk is specific to deep-fried foods, or whether it represents risk associated with regular intake of foods exposed to high heat and/or other aspects of the Western lifestyle, such as fast food consumption, remains to be determined.”

Dr. Stanford commented "The link between prostate cancer and select deep-fried foods appeared to be limited to the highest level of consumption defined in our study as more than once a week , which suggests that regular consumption of deep-fried foods confers particular risk for developing prostate cancer.”

Dr. Stanford hypothesizes that deep frying may trigger formation of carcinogens in food. Possible influence behind the risk for prostate cancer includes that fact that when oil is heated to temperatures suitable for deep frying, potentially carcinogenic compounds can form in the fried food.

According to Stanford these carcinogens include; acrylamide (found in carbohydrate-rich foods such as french fries). Acrylamide is known to cause cancer in animals and, in high doses, can cause nerve damage in humans, according to WHO, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic (exposure to high levels of HCAs and PAHs can cause cancer in animals; however, whether such exposure causes cancer in humans is unclear, National Cancer Institute), the chemicals are formed when cooking meat at high temperatures, aldehyde (an organic compound found in perfume and essential oils) and acrolein (a chemical found in herbicides) with widespread exposure occurring due to the formation of acrolein during the heating of fats, according to Tox Guide.

Dr. Stanford continues that these toxic compounds are increased with re-use of oil and increased length of frying time. Foods cooked with high heat also contain high levels of advanced glycation endproducts, (AGEs) which have been associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Deep-fried foods are among the highest in AGE content. For example; a chicken breast deep fried for 20 minutes contains more than nine times the amount of AGEs as a chicken breast boiled for an hour.

“The first study of its kind "To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to look at the association between intake of deep-fried food and risk of prostate cancer, “says Dr. Stanford. Because deep-fried foods are primarily eaten outside the home, it is possible that the link between these foods and prostate cancer risk may be a sign of high consumption of fast foods in general, the authors wrote, citing the dramatic increase in fast-food restaurants and fast-food consumption in the US in the past several decades.

Acrylamide was first discovered to be present in food by the Swedish National Food Authority in 2002. According to Caring for Cancer; “numerous research studies have examined possible connections between acrylamide in food and risk of cancer in people. These studies have included many thousands of people. They have looked at a variety of cancers, including cancers of the bladder, breast, colon and rectum, esophagus, kidney, larynx, oral cavity (mouth and throat), ovary, and pharynx. These studies have considered specific foods that are high in acrylamide, such as fried potatoes.”

Last year researchers from the University of Southern California and Cancer Prevention Institute of California found that cooking red meats at high temperatures, especially pan-fried red meats, may increase the risk of advanced prostate cancer by as much as 40 percent. The study appeared in Carcinogenesis, July 20, 2012.


SlideShow; Fried Foods and Health

Associated Article; Increased chances for full recovery of all prostate cancers found in resveratrol