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Author Topic: America's Most Widely Consumed Oil Causes Genetic Changes in the Brain

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https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200117080827.htm

Used for fast food frying, added to packaged foods, and fed to livestock, soybean oil is by far the most widely produced and consumed edible oil in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In all likelihood, it is not healthy for humans.

It certainly is not good for mice. The new study, published this month in the journal Endocrinology, compared mice fed three different diets high in fat: soybean oil, soybean oil modified to be low in linoleic acid, and coconut oil.

The same UCR research team found in 2015 that soybean oil induces obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, and fatty liver in mice. Then in a 2017 study, the same group learned that if soybean oil is engineered to be low in linoleic acid, it induces less obesity and insulin resistance.

However, in the study released this month, researchers did not find any difference between the modified and unmodified soybean oil's effects on the brain. Specifically, the scientists found pronounced effects of the oil on the hypothalamus, where a number of critical processes take place.

"The hypothalamus regulates body weight via your metabolism, maintains body temperature, is critical for reproduction and physical growth as well as your response to stress," said Margarita Curras-Collazo, a UCR associate professor of neuroscience and lead author on the study.

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Acrylamide and Cancer Risk

What is acrylamide?

Acrylamide is a chemical used in industries such as the paper and pulp, construction, foundry, oil drilling, textiles, cosmetics, food processing, plastics, mining, and agricultural industries. It is used in making paper, dyes, and plastics, and in treating drinking water and wastewater.

Acrylamide can be found in small amounts in consumer products including caulk, food packaging, and some adhesives. It is also present in cigarette smoke.

Acrylamide can form naturally from chemical reactions in certain types of starchy foods, after cooking at high temperatures. Some foods with higher levels of acrylamide include French fries, potato chips, foods made from grains (such as breakfast cereals, cookies, and toast), and coffee.
Does acrylamide cause cancer?

In general, the American Cancer Society does not determine if something causes cancer (that is, if it is a carcinogen), but we do look to other respected organizations for help with this. Based on current research, some of these organizations have made the following determinations:

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies acrylamide as a “probable human carcinogen.”
    The US National Toxicology Program (NTP) has classified acrylamide as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” 
    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies acrylamide as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”

It’s important to note that these determinations are based mainly on studies in lab animals, and not on studies of people’s exposure to acrylamide from foods. Since the discovery of acrylamide in foods in 2002, the American Cancer Society, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and many other organizations have recognized the need for further research on this topic. So far, reviews of studies done in groups of people (epidemiologic studies) suggest that dietary acrylamide isn’t likely to be related to risk for most common types of cancer. But ongoing studies will continue to provide new information on whether acrylamide levels in foods are linked to increased cancer risk.

To learn more about how cancer causes are studied and classified, see Known and Probable Human Carcinogens and Does This Cause Cancer?
Are acrylamide levels regulated?

In the United States, the FDA regulates the amount of residual acrylamide in a variety of materials that come in contact with food, but there are currently no regulations on the presence of acrylamide in food itself. In 2016, the FDA issued guidance to help the food industry reduce the amount of acrylamide in certain foods, but these are recommendations, not regulations.

The EPA regulates acrylamide in drinking water. The EPA has set an acceptable level of acrylamide exposure, which is low enough to account for any uncertainty in the data relating acrylamide to cancer and other health effects.

In the workplace, exposure to acrylamide is regulated by the EPA and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Can acrylamide be avoided?

Some people working in certain industries that are regulated for acrylamide need to take precautions to limit their exposure.

For most people, the major potential sources of acrylamide exposure are in certain foods and in cigarette smoke. Avoiding cigarette smoke can lower your exposure to this and other harmful chemicals.

It’s not yet clear if the levels of acrylamide in foods raise cancer risk, but if you’re concerned, there are some things you can do to lower your exposure. In general, acrylamide levels rise when cooking is done for longer periods or at higher temperatures, and when certain types of cooking methods are used (such as frying or roasting). Here are some ways to reduce exposure to acrylamide in foods, according to the FDA: 

    Limit foods that might be high in acrylamide, such as potato products (especially French fries and potato chips), coffee, and foods made from grains (such as breakfast cereals, cookies, and toast).
    Limit certain cooking methods, such as frying and roasting, and limit the time certain foods are cooked. Boiling and steaming do not produce acrylamide.
    Soak raw potato slices in water for 15 to 30 minutes before frying or roasting to reduce acrylamide formation during cooking. (Soaked potatoes should be drained and blotted dry before cooking to prevent splattering or fires.)
    If frying potatoes or toasting bread, cook them to a lighter color (as opposed to dark brown), which produces less acrylamide.
    Avoid storing potatoes in the refrigerator, which can result in increased acrylamide levels during cooking.

To learn more

Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information about acrylamide include:

Food and Drug Administration
Acrylamide Questions and Answers: www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/ChemicalContaminants/ucm053569.htm

National Cancer Institute
Acrylamide and Cancer Risk: www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/acrylamide-fact-sheet

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
ToxFAQs™ for Acrylamide: www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=1162&tid=236

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
EFSA explains risk assessment: Acrylamide in food: www.efsa.europa.eu/en/corporate/pub/acrylamide150604

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/acrylamide.html

https://www.fda.gov/food/chemicals/acrylamide-questions-and-answers

What is acrylamide?
Acrylamide is a chemical that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes, such as frying, roasting, and baking. Acrylamide in food forms from sugars and an amino acid that are naturally present in food; it does not come from food packaging or the environment.

Is there a risk from eating foods that contain acrylamide?
Acrylamide caused cancer in animals in studies where animals were exposed to acrylamide at very high doses. In 2010, the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) concluded that acrylamide is a human health concern, and suggested additional long-term studies. FDA experts participated in the evaluation and provided data from new research studies on acrylamide risk.

Is acrylamide something new in food? When was acrylamide first detected in food?
Acrylamide has probably always been present in cooked foods. However, acrylamide was first detected in certain foods in April 2002.

How does acrylamide form in food?
Acrylamide forms from sugars and an amino acid (asparagine) during certain types of high-temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, and baking.

What kinds of cooking lead to acrylamide formation? In what foods?
High temperature cooking, such as frying, roasting, or baking, is most likely to cause acrylamide formation. Boiling and steaming do not typically form acrylamide. Acrylamide is found mainly in foods made from plants, such as potato products, grain products, or coffee. Acrylamide does not form, or forms at lower levels, in dairy, meat, and fish products. Generally, acrylamide is more likely to accumulate when cooking is done for longer periods or at higher temperatures. (See Acrylamide: Information on Diet, Food Storage, and Food Preparation.)

What FDA data are available on acrylamide levels in U.S. foods?
FDA has posted its current data on acrylamide in foods on the FDA web site at Survey Data on Acrylamide in Food. The most recent data were added to the website in 2019.

 

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