Deep-fried food and prostate cancer risk
28th January 2013
Regular consumption of deep-fried foods such as chips, fried chicken and doughnuts has been found to be associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, with the effect being slightly stronger with regard to more aggressive forms of the disease. While previous studies have suggested that eating foods made with high-heat cooking methods, such as grilled meats, may increase the risk of prostate cancer, this is the first study to examine the addition of deep frying to the equation.
In the study data was analysed from two prior population-based case-control studies involving a total of 1,549 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1,492 age-matched healthy controls. The men were Caucasian and African-American Seattle-area residents and ranged in age from 35 to 74 years. Participants were asked to fill out a dietary questionnaire about their usual food intake, including specific deep-fried foods. The study 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 prostate cancer risk.
The researchers found that men who reported eating chips, fried chicken, fried fish and/or doughnuts at least once a week were at an increased risk of prostate cancer as compared to men who said they ate such foods less than once a month. In particular, men who ate one or more of these foods at least weekly had an increased risk of prostate cancer that ranged from 30 to 37%. Weekly consumption of these foods was associated also with a slightly greater risk of more aggressive prostate cancer.
The researchers hypothesized that possible mechanisms behind the increased cancer risk include the fact that when oil is heated to temperatures suitable for deep frying, potentially carcinogenic compounds can form in the fried food. They include acrylamide (found in carbohydrate-rich foods such as chips), heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (chemicals formed when meat is cooked at high temperatures), aldehyde (an organic compound found in perfume) and acrolein (a chemical found in herbicides). 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, or AGEs, which have been associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Deep-fried foods are among the highest in AGE content. 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, for example.
It’s worth noting that since 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, rather than purely chips, doughnuts and fried chicken and fish.
Stott-Miller M et al. Consumption of deep-fried foods and risk of prostate cancer. The Prostate, 2013; DOI: 10.1002/pros.22643
Categories: Hormonal Health, Healthy Aging