Deep Fried Foods May Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer by Up to 37 Percent

Fried Foods
Image REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

We all know that fried food is not good for us, but many of us indulge anyway. Now, new research adds to the mounting piling of evidence of the ways that fried food can harm our health. The study found that, among men who ate fried foods once a week, the risk for aggressive forms of prostate cancer increased by nearly 40 percent.

The study was conducted using 1,549 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and1,492 controls who were matched for age. The men were African American and Caucasian residents of the Seattle area, aged between 35 and 74 years of age. All of the men were asked to complete a questionnaire, which included questions about their intake of certain fried foods.

The study found that men who ate doughnuts, fried chicken, fried fish and French fries at least once a week were more likely to suffer from prostate cancer than men who reported eating those foods less than once a month. That risk increased by 30 to 37 percent, and was also associated with a higher risk of the more aggressive forms of the disease.

Researchers theorize that oil, when heated to the right temperature for deep frying foods, can create carcinogenic compounds, like aldehyde, a compound found in perfume, and acrolein, a chemical found in herbicides. Deep fried foods also contain high levels of advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs, which have been linked to chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. A deep-fried chicken breast cooked for 20 minutes contains nine times the amount of AGEs as that same chicken breast boiled for an hour.

The researchers controlled for a variety of factors, including age, body mass index, family history of the disease, PSA screening history and race.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer for men after skin cancer. The American Cancer Society reports that prostate cancer strikes over 238,000 men each year.

Fried foods have been linked to a variety of cancers, including breast, esophagus, head and neck, lung and pancreas.

The study was published in the journal The Prostate.

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