For Men: Frequent Consumption of Fried Food May Increase the Risk of Prostate Cancer

Research has revealed that eating deep-fried foods, such as French fries and fried chicken on a regular basis may lead to an increased risk of prostate cancer.

While previous research suggested that eating foods prepared with high-heat cooking methods, such as grilled meat, may increase the risk of prostate cancer, this is the first study to look at how deep-fried foods may affect that risk, the study authors said. Researchers examined data from about 1,500 men diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 1,500 men who did not have the disease. The men, who ranged from 35 to 74 years old, provided details about their eating habits.

It was found that men who said they ate French fries, fried chicken, fried fish and/or doughnuts at least once a week were 30 per cent to 37 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer than those who ate such foods less than once a month. Men who ate these foods at least once a week also had a slightly greater risk of more aggressive prostate cancer, according to the study, which found an association between deep-fried foods and prostate cancer risk, but didn’t prove cause-and-effect. The study was published online recently in the journal, The Prostate.

The study was supported by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle. According to the study’s corresponding author, Janet Stanford, who is also co-director of Hutchinson’s prostate cancer research programme, “The link between prostate cancer and select deep-fried foods appeared to be limited to the highest level of consumption, defined in our study as more than once a week, which suggests that regular consumption of deep-fried foods confers particular risk for developing prostate cancer.”

Speaking in a news release, she added that this increased prostate cancer risk may be due to the fact that when oil is heated to temperatures used for deep frying, potentially cancer-causing compounds can form in the fried food, she said. The more the oil is re-used and the longer the frying time, the greater the amounts of these toxic compounds, Stanford said.