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The research isn’t conclusive. But lab evidence suggests a type of chemical found in starchy foods cooked at high temperatures—as well as coffee and some baby foods—could promote the growth of cancer cells

The crispy brown crust that forms on your french fries or toast? Those are hot spots for a chemical called acrylamide, which forms when the sugars and amino acids found naturally in foods like potatoes and cereal grains are cooked at temperatures above 150 degrees. It’s present in cookies, crackers, coffee and some baby food that contains processed bran. And according to a new report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), it’s a public health concern.
So should you worry?
Here’s what scientists know now: Lab studies involving animals have shown that diets loaded with acrylamide can cause DNA mutations that increase the risk of tumor growth and the spread of cancer cells. But studies involving people have produced “limited and inconsistent evidence” when it comes to the ties between acrylamide and cancer, the EFSA says.
While people exposed to the chemical in an industrial setting have suffered from nervous system issues like muscle weakness or limb numbness, that has little to do with your diet. “That was through skin exposure to high levels of acrylamide, not food consumption,” stresses Marco Binaglia, a scientist who helped draft the EFSA report.
Binaglia says that, for now, it’s not possible for him or other health scientists to make diet recommendations. “We’ve identified a possible model of action that explains how acrylamide could damage DNA in a way that leads to cancer-producing cells.” But more study is needed to produce specific dietary guidelines, he adds.
For example, Binaglia says the EFSA’s coffee research only looks at acrylamide content, and does not take into account all the other possibly beneficial chemicals and compounds found in your morning joe, for instance. “A lot of questions cannot be answered right now,” Ramos adds. Similarly, the American Cancer Society (ACS) says that, based on available research, “It is not yet clear if acrylamide affects cancer risk in people.”
Despite all the unknowns, if you want to reduce your potential risk by cutting out the chemical from your diet, the ACS recommends boiling potatoes, which results in less acrylamide formation than roasting or frying. They also suggest lightly toasting your breads—no dark spots.
And as for acrylamide in coffee, says Luisa Ramos, another researcher who helped draft the report: “It’s usually found at higher levels in light roasts because it forms during the first minutes of roasting and then degrades as the roasting process continues.”
Ramos says choosing darker coffee roasts may lower your exposure. And, for concerned parents, baby foods that don’t contain processed cereal grains should have lower levels of the chemical.






雖然人們在工業環境中暴露於化學已經從像肌肉無力或四肢麻木神經系統的問題遭遇,有什麼與你的飲食。 “這是通過皮膚暴露於高濃度的丙烯酰胺,而不是食品消費的,”講馬可Binaglia,科學家誰幫助起草了歐洲食品安全局報告。 

Binaglia說,就目前而言,它不可能對他或其他健康科學家提出飲食建議。 “我們已經確定了行動解釋如何丙烯酰胺可能在導致癌症的細胞的方式破壞DNA的可能模式。”但需要更多的研究來產生特定的飲食指導,他補充道。 

例如,Binaglia說,歐洲食品安全局的咖啡研究僅著眼於丙烯酰胺的含量,並沒有考慮到所有其他可能有益的化學物質和化合物,在你早上喬發現,例如。 “很多問題不能馬上回答說:”拉莫斯補充道。同樣,美國癌症協會(ACS)說,根據現有的研究,“目前尚不清楚,如果丙烯酰胺會影響人們患癌症的風險。”