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Acrylamide Not Linked Overall to Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk

Food component not generally associated with gastric, colorectal, pancreatic or esophageal cancer risk

THURSDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Dietary acrylamide intake does not appear to be related to a higher overall risk of gastrointestinal cancer, according to research published in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

Janneke G.F. Hogervorst, of Maastricht University in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed data from 120,852 men and women. A subcohort of 5,000 was randomly chosen for a case-cohort approach at baseline, and participants filled out a food frequency questionnaire, from which researchers estimated their acrylamide intake. Participants were followed for 13.3 years.

The subcohort's mean daily acrylamide intake was 21.7 micrograms, and most of the variance in intake was explained by Dutch spiced cake and coffee. Overall, the researchers found no evidence linking acrylamide intake and higher risk of colorectal, gastric, pancreatic or esophageal cancer. However, some subgroups faced higher risks, such as obese individuals with a greater intake having higher risk of esophageal cancer.

"The fact that we did not observe an overall association between acrylamide intake and the risk of gastrointestinal tumors, but did observe positive associations between acrylamide intake and endometrial and ovarian cancer risk in a previous study, indicates that disturbance of hormonal balances may also be at the basis of acrylamide carcinogenesis. If acrylamide does indeed exert its carcinogenic effects through a hormonal mechanism, that would explain why no clear overall associations between acrylamide intake and gastrointestinal cancer risk were observed in this study, because sex hormones do not play as clear a role in the etiology of these tumors," the authors write.

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