Increased Risk Of Prostate Cancer With Fried Food

Connie K. Ho for — Your Universe Online

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center recently revealed that fried food consumption is linked with a higher risk of prostate cancer.

In particular, the team of investigators found that consumption of deep-fried foods on a regular basis can have a stronger impact. These foods include items such as French fries, fried chicken, and doughnuts. They found that this effect has more of a connection with aggressive types of cancer. The findings of the study were recently featured in the online edition of The Prostate.

The results of the study specifically showed how men who consumed French fries, fried chicken, fried fish, and/or doughnuts at least once a week had an elevated risk of developing prostate cancer as compared to their counterparts who stated that they had consumed these fried foods less than once a month. Those who consumed one or more of these fried foods were found to have a higher risk of prostate cancer, ranging from 30 to 37 percent. Weekly consumption of the foods was also linked to a higher risk of more aggressive prostate cancer.

“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,” explained the study´s author Janet L. Stanford, who serves as the co-director of the Hutchinson Center´s Program in Prostate Cancer Research, in a prepared statement.

The scientists believe that that the increase in cancer risk may be due to the carcinogenic compounds found in fried food when oil is heated to temperatures needed for deep frying. Carcinogenic compounds in fried foods include acrylamide (included in carbohydrate-rich foods like French fries), heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (chemicals produced during the cooking of meat at high temperatures), aldehyde (organic compound included in perfume), and acrolein (chemical included in herbicides). With the re-use of oil and elevated length of frying time, the amounts of these various compounds can increase.

Along with toxic compounds, there are also boosted levels of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) that have been linked to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. For example, a piece of chicken that was deep fried for 20 minutes will have nine times more the amount of AGEs than a chicken that was boiled for an hour. The team of investigators stated that the study may also show the effects of the growth in the number of fast-foods restaurants and fast-food consumption in the U.S. in the past few years

“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,” concluded Stanford in the statement.

In this study, the participants completed a dietary questionnaire that detailed their food intake.

Other studies have looked at the influence of fast-food consumption of children. A study published last November by the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) found that kids consumed more calories and soda at fast-food shops or full-service restaurants than when they ate at home.

“We need an environment that promotes healthy rather than unhealthy food and beverage choices,” said Lisa Powell, the lead author and a professor of Health Policy and Administration at the UIC School of Public Health, in the statement.