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|Breast Cancer And French Fries|
Do You Want Cancer With Those Fries?
by Royce Bailey M.D., M.P.H., F.A.A.C.
- Three Cancer Studies Reviewed
Weight Gain Can Correlate With Breast Cancer
A woman’s weight gain after age 18 correlates with her risk of breast cancer. Woman who gained 30 to 40 pounds between the ages of 18 and 57 were 40% more likely to get breast cancer than woman who gained five pounds or less. Women who gained more than 70 pounds had twice the risk. Fat cells make their own estrogen, so heavier people have higher estrogen levels. Higher estrogen increases breast cancer risk.
French Fries And Breast Cancer
The Nurses Health Study found that woman were more likely to get breast cancer if they had regularly eaten french fries decades earlier as preschoolers. This is a long term health study of 25,000 nurses. In this particular arm of the study, 582 nurses who had breast cancer were compared with 1569 nurses who didn’t have breast cancer, in 1993. Their mothers were asked how often the nurses had eaten 30 different foods as preschoolers. French fries were the only food associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. Foods not linked in this study with breast cancer include cheese, butter, ground beef and cookies. For every extra weekly serving of french fries that the women reportedly ate as preschoolers, their risk of breast cancer as adults rose 27 percent.
Did These Moms Really Remember What Their Children Ate 40 Years Ago?
Problems with this study could be people’s memories. Moms is their 60s, 70s and 80s remembering what their children ate decades ago surprises me. These moms did know that their daughters had breast cancer when being interviewed, so did that change their answers?
Saturated Fats And Trans Fats As Cause?
This study spans over 40 years, there has been a wide range of french fry making during that time. Some woman may have eaten fries baked at home in lard (rich in cholesterol and saturated fats). Others may have eaten fast food french fries cooked in oils high in trans fats. Cancer can take decades to develop. Breast tissue (both male and female) prior to puberty is much more susceptible to environmental and potentially cancer causing influences than adult breast tissue. Men account for 1% of all breast cancer.
Back To The Garden Of Eden Diet
Physicians are already concerned about children’s diets and the rising epidemic of childhood obesity. Here is one more reason to watch a child’s diet, so that when they grow up they do not suffer from a variety of chronic diseases.
Cancer causing chemicals are found in most of our food sources. Acrylamide, is an industrial chemical used in plastics, pesticides and sewage treatment that can occur when starchy foods are processed at high temperatures. Acrylamide is formed during preparation of bread, coffee, breakfast cereals, chips and other fried, baked or roasted high-carbohydrate foods. Raw food materials used in these foods have shown no trace of acrylamide. Eating foods fried at high temperatures or for a long time should be avoid.
Potato Chip Risk
An ordinary bag of potato chips may contain up 500 times more acrylamide than the top level allowed in drinking water by the World Health Organization (WHO). That means that eating a single potato chip may contain enough acrylamide to equal the maximum allowed for drinking water. Research has shown that most chip manufacturers have unsafe levels of acrylamide in their products. A study looked at one ounce servings, which ranged from 11 to 20 chips depending on the brand, and determined the acrylamide content was substantially more than the daily acceptable level.
French Fry Risk
French fries sold at Swedish franchises of U.S. fast food chains Burger King and McDonald’s contained 100 times the one microgram per liter of acrylamide maximum permitted by WHO (2002). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants this chemical listed on these products that are to be consumed. WHO has said acrylamide may be responsible for up to one-third of all cancers caused by our diet.
Probable Human Carcinogen
Acrylamide is currently classified as a probable human carcinogen because, in high doses, it has been found to induce gene mutations that can cause benign and malignant stomach tumors in laboratory animals. It is also known to cause damage to the central and peripheral nervous system. Acrylamide is on California’s list of chemicals known to cause cancer and required by Proposition 65, in that state, to be listed on packaged products.
What To Do?
Processed foods are known to contain carcinogens caused by heat processing. So what are we to do? Go back to the Garden of Eden type diet. Avoid processed, high carbohydrate, deep fried foods.
Feigelson, H.S., “American Cancer Society” reported in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 2004.
Michels, K., “French Fries In Childhood Tied To Breast Cancer?” International Journal of Cancer, online edition, March 29, 2006.
Starck P., “Cancer Risk Found In French Fries, Bread,” www.reuters.com, April 24, 2002 From Stockholm University with Sweden’s National Food Administration.
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