WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Regular consumption of deep- fried foods such as French fries, fried chicken and doughnuts is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, and the effect appears to be slightly stronger with regard to more aggressive forms of the disease, according to a study published online Monday in The Prostate.
For the study, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle analyzed data 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 researchers found that men who ate French fries, fried chicken, fried fish and/or doughnuts at least weekly had an increased risk of prostate cancer that ranged from 30 to 37 percent. Weekly consumption of these foods was associated also with a slightly greater risk of more aggressive prostate cancer. 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 prostate cancer risk.
Possible mechanisms behind the increased cancer risk, the researchers hypothesize, 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 French fries), 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.