A new joint study by researchers in Sweden and the USA has found no correlation between high intake of acrylamides in food – found in items like potato crisps and French fries – and cancer.
The results will be published Tuesday [today] in the British Journal of Cancer.
“We found absolutely nothing to support the theory of increased risk,” Professor Gunnar Steineck of the Karolinska Institute’s Department of Oncology-Pathology told Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
The study, in cooperation with Harvard University, examined nearly 1000 cancer cases and compared them with a control group of 500 healthy persons. Their findings were clear: eating high acrylamide content foods produced no greater risk of intestinal, bladder or kidney cancer.
Professor of Social Medicine Lars Hagmar at the University of Lund warned that it was too soon to jump to the other extreme and would not yet conclude that acrylamide is harmless.
The consensus has always been that acrylamides would increase cancer risks relatively little, and conclusively disproving this would be difficult, Hagmar told Dagens Nyheter.
The World Health Organisation’s cancer group IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) classifies acrylamide as “probably carcinogenic”, based only on animal research.
Swedish researchers made the original finding that foods baked or fried at high temperatures created high levels of acrylamide.