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Acrylamide in Diet: Cancer Risk?

Study Shows Consumption of Chemical May Be Linked to Renal Cancer
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Acrylamide and Cancer continued...

Acrylamide consumption did not appear to be associated with an increased risk for cancers of the bladder or prostate.

In findings reported last year using the same database and study design, Hogervorst and colleagues reported that postmenopausal, nonsmoking women whose diets included the most acrylamide had significantly increased risk for ovarian and endometrial cancer than women whose diets contained the least.

That study was published last December in the journal Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. The latest findings appear in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"In the future we hope to look at many more cancer types," Hogervorst says. "We also hope that other researchers will do similar studies to expand on our research."

Acrylamide in U.S. Diet

But a critic of that research tells WebMD that the Dutch studies and those of similar design do little more than confuse the public.

"They went looking for an association in this study and they found one," says Jeff Stier. "But people should not confuse association with causation."

Stier is associate director of the American Council on Science and Health, a consumer education group.

The FDA has reported that 100% of Americans consume acrylamide, but exposure levels do not appear to be increasing.

Clemens, who is a spokesman for the American Society for Nutrition, points out that estimates by the FDA and the World Health Organization suggest that typical dietary exposures do not come close to the exposures that were shown to cause tumors in lab animals.

"The exposures in the animal studies were [the equivalent] of about 300 times the amount that a typical person would consume," he says.

He adds that there are still plenty of good reasons for limiting French fries and potato chips, noting that "balance, moderation and variety are the keys to a healthful lifestyle."

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