Regular Consumption Of Fried Foods Linked To Higher Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Previous studies found a link between higher risk of prostate cancer and eating foods prepared with high-heat cooking methods, such as grilling.

This study looked at the effect that deep-frying, another form of high-heat cooking, had on prostate cancer risk.

Researchers conducted a case-control study that included 1,549 men with prostate cancer and 1,492 controls.The men filled out questionnaires on their food intake including consumption of French fries, fried chicken, fried fish, doughnuts, and snack chips. With the exception of snack chips, eating these foods once or more per week was associated with between a 30% to 37% higher risk of prostate cancer, compared to consumption of less than once per week.

The association was even stronger for aggressive prostate cancer. For example, regular consumption of fried fish was associated with a 32% higher risk of prostate cancer in general and a 41% higher risk of more aggressive disease.

Two potential mechanisms behind the increased prostate cancer risk were discussed: heating oil creates potentially carcinogenic compounds, and longer frying time and reuse of oil increases the level of these compounds. Foods cooked at high temperatures also contain high levels of advanced glycation endproducts that are associated with chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.

It is still not clear if the increased risk is specific to deep-fried foods, if it is due in general to consumption of food prepared with high heat, or if it is related to fast food consumption and other aspects of the Western lifestyle, according to the authors.