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Originally published May 20 2008

Consuming Acrylamide from Cooked Foods Boosts Ovarian Cancer Risk by 78 Percent

by David Gutierrez, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Women who ingest the highest levels of acrylamide in their diets may drastically increase their risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer, according to a new study published in the journal "Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention."

Acrylamide is a chemical produced when starchy foods are baked, fried or roasted (but not when they are boiled). It was first detected in food in 2002; prior to that, acrylamide was believed to be a solely industrial chemical. A number of prior studies have implicated it as a carcinogen.

Researchers examined data gathered by the Netherlands Cohort study on diet and cancer occurrence among 62,573 women. Women were given dietary questionnaires and followed for 11.3 years.

The women who had the highest average acrylamide intake, 40.2 micrograms per day, had a 29 percent higher risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the uterus lining) and a 78 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer. Women who had never smoked were even more susceptible, with a 99 percent higher risk of endometrial cancer and a 122 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer among those with the highest acrylamide intake.

The average acrylamide intake among the participants, as measured from a random sample of 2,589 women, was 8.9 micrograms per day.

Prior animal studies have shown a correlation between acrylamide intake and cancer of the breast, testicles, thyroid and uterus, but not of the ovaries or endometrium. In contrast, the current study showed an elevated risk of ovarian and endometrial cancers, but not of breast cancer. The researchers hypothesized that the difference might be due to the fact that the doses given in animal studies were much higher than the doses in the current study, and that animals were given acrylamide dissolved in water rather than in their food.

While some scientists have hypothesized that the human body may detoxify acrylamide when it is ingested in food, or that human intake is too low to pose health risks, the current study suggests that even at dietary doses, acrylamide is a human carcinogen.

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