Fried Foods Are Even Worse Than We Thought; They’re Now Linked To Prostate Cancer

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Everyone knows that fried food is fatty and generally not-very-good for you (depending on what kind of oil you use). But now, there’s evidence linking fried food consumption to an increased risk for prostate cancer.

Researchers have determined that consuming servings of fried food more than once per week is linked to a higher risk of prostate cancer. The research was conducted by the Public Health Sciences Division of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and published in the 17th of January online issue of The Prostate. Previous studies have apparently already shown links between prostate cancer and foods heated to high temperatures (like grilled meats) but this is the first one to show a specific link between fried foods and prostate cancer.

For the study, researchers looked at data on 1,549 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and 1,492 healthy men (of similar ages) living in the Seattle area. The men were between 35 and 74 years and filled out questionnaires where they self-disclosed their eating habits.  What they found was telling: men who ate French fries, fried chicken, fried fish and/or doughnuts at least once a week had a 30-37% higher risk for prostate cancer. One of the study’s authors, Janet L. Stanford, said:

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.

Interestingly, even when other factors that might have affected individual’s risk factors were taken into consideration (things like age, family history of prostate cancer, race, body mass index, and PSA screening history) the link between fried food consumption and cancer stayed the same.

But strangely, researchers don’t know exactly how or why the fried foods increase the risk. Fried foods have been linked to other cancers in the past, but in terms of this study, researchers can only speculate as to the connection. Janet L. Stanford suggested that it might have something to do with what happens to the food (chemically) when it’s fried. According to Medical News Today, carcinogenic compunds like acrylamide, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, aldehyde and acrolein can form when oil is heated to high temperatures.

Despite the fact that researchers haven’t yet parsed out a concrete reason why fried foods might increase the risk for prostate cancer, this is just another good reason why people should watch their intake of fried foods.

Photo: Shutterstock

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