February 16, 2009
Potato chips, french fries may harm heart
Polish researchers suggest that acrylamide from foods such as potato chips may increase the risk of heart disease.
Marek Naruszewicz of the Polish Society for Atherosclerosis Research in Szczecin, Poland, and colleagues say that acrylamide has been linked to nervous system disorders and possibly to cancer.
After ingesting large amounts of potato chips providing about 157 micrograms of acrylamide daily for four weeks, the study participants had adverse changes in oxidized low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the
bad cholesterol, inflammatory markers and antioxidants that help the body eliminate acrylamide -- all of which may increase the risk of heart disease.
Additional research is needed in long-term studies of people consuming typical amounts of acrylamide -- averaging about 20 to 30 micrograms, the researchers say.
Consumers can reduce their exposure to acrylamide by limiting their intake of potato chips and french fries, choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat meat, low-fat dairy products and quitting smoking, which is a major source of acrylamide, Mary Ann Johnson, spokeswoman for the American Society for Nutrition says in a statement.
The findings are published in the March issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.