Acrylamide study sparks German debate

that implied levels of the carcinogen acrylamide in the body might not be as strongly influenced by consumption of acrylamide-containing food as is currently believed.

Ned Stafford
Dec 4, 2005
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Scientists from the University of Hanover Medical School in Germany recently published a study in Deutsches Ärzteblatt that implied levels of the carcinogen acrylamide in the body might not be as strongly influenced by consumption of acrylamide-containing food as is currently believed. The study, which sparked wide criticism among their peers, examined the association between hemoglobin adducts of acrylamide and the diet and smoking habits of 395 people. "No association was found between acrylamide adduct concentration and diet," they write.

Study coauthor Michael Bader, a chemist, says that participants completed questionnaires asking how often during the previous 120 days they had smoked cigarettes and consumed acrylamide-rich foods. Some 80% of participants carried acrylamide adducts in their blood, with levels only slightly higher in nonsmokers who ate acrylamide-rich foods more than once a week. A trend towards higher adduct concentration in heavy eaters of acrylamide did not reach statistical significance.

"I...