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Acrylamide and breast cancer risks

Acrylamide is a chemical used in many industrial processes including production of paper, dyes and plastics as well as in the treatment of drinking water and wastewater, including sewage. Acrylamide also found in consumer products (caulking, food packaging, some adhesives) and in certain foods that were heated to a temperature above 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit).

Danish Cancer Society (Copenhagen) is one of recognized societies working on cancer causes and possible treatment solutions. Recently scientists from the Danish Cancer Society Research Center noted that acrylamide consumption – found with higher amounts in fried and grilled foods – significantly increases the risk of breast cancer among women.

Danish study tested women’s consumption of acrylamide by measuring their acrylamide hemoglobin and glycidamide hemoglobin levels in the bloodstream. It was noted that increased levels of acrylamide and glycidamide hemoglobin in the women’s bloodstream was associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. At the same time among women with higher levels of acrylamide bound to the hemoglobin in their blood, there was a statistically significant increase in risk of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Danish researchers found that higher levels of glycidamide hemoglobin in the blood was associated with a 63% higher risk of dying from all breast cancers, and more than double the risk of developing an estrogen receptor-positive tumor.


It is important to mention that the National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer consider acrylamide to be a “probable human carcinogen”. This study is based on laboratory tests performed on animals given acrylamide in drinking water.

Conclusion is that women (especially after 50) should avoid consumption of acrylamide and reduce risk factors for breast cancer development.

How avoid acrylamide

Anti-acrylamides diet could be a good idea for breast cancer prevention. Everything depends on which kind of foods we choose to eat and how we cook our products.

Generally speaking the diet full of processed foods (including baked products and processed meats) increases our intake of acrylamides. Acrylamides are produced when starches or sugars are cooked at high temperatures for an extended period. Potato chips, French fries, charred and grilled foods and some caramelized high-heat baked goods have high levels of acrylamides. Cigarette smoke and roasted coffee also contains increased levels of acrylamides.
Double-cooked and/or over-cooked products contain highest level of acrylamides

List of most dangerous pre-cancer products:

French Fries
Only steamed and boiled potatoes do not contain significant levels of mentioned suspected human carcinogen.

Prune Juice
Prune juice ranks relatively high on the acrylamide index and it could be replaced with healthy fresh pressed fruit juice.

Some Cereals
Breakfast cereals (corn flakes and all-bran flakes) are a major source of acrylamides but oatmeal made from steel-cut oats could be recommended.

Some Breads
Crisp-bread and toasted bread contain significant levels of acrylamides – this is why it is better to eat bread with crust removed.

Acrylamide in food

Toasted Nuts
Toasted and roasted nuts (almonds, peanuts) are known as a significant source of acrylamides – this is why raw and un-salted nuts should be included in anticancer diet.

Canned Black Olives
Pasteurization methods used in the canning process of black olives make them not healthy and full of acrylamides – this is why green olives are recommended.

Potato Chips
All types of chips (especially potato chips) are double cooked and can be considered as not healthy product. If you need some simple bite-sized pieces of food, better to consume small pieces of fresh vegetables or fruits.

Potato chips and acrylamides

Cookies and Crackers
In most cases food industry is pre-cooking biscuits, cookies and crackers and making final cooking before delivering to the market – it means all mentioned products are double-cooked and full of cancer triggering elements (see above). Best alternative can be home make cakes baked at low temperatures.

Journal of the American Medical Association estimated coffee to be the biggest source of acrylamides. Better to start changing your coffee habits and move to anticancer green tea and/or herbal infusions.

Cocoa is the main product in chocolate industry – cocoa beans are roasted to develop the characteristic chocolate flavor (full of acrylamides). Best would be to avoid chocolate or use only milk chocolate bars with lower levels of acrylamides.

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