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Common Potato Chip and French Fry Component Linked to Heart Disease

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Sunday, February 15, 2009

(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- It's no secret that potato chips and french fries are often high in fat, and generally not good for one's health. A recent study has provided further reason to limit the intake of these foods, with the discovery that acrylamide, a chemical found in relative abundance in chips and fries, directly increases the risk of heart disease.
Past research had established a connection between acrylamide and disorders of the nervous system, but until now, there had been no solid evidence of a connection to heart disease. Along with potato chips, french fries, as well as cigarrettes, are considered to be high sources of acrylamide.
Participants in the current study were fed large daily amounts of potato chips, equalling 157 micrograms of acrylamide per day, for four weeks. The researchers found that these participants had lowered oxidized LDL (bad cholesterol), diminished ability of acrylamide eliminating antioxidants, and decreased "inflammatory marker" function. All these observations are considered to pose significantly increased risk to the development of heart disease.
While this study does not offer conclusive evidence as to the long-term effects of moderate acrylamide consumption (it's recommended by the authors that future long-term studies be conducted on people consuming a more modest level of 20-30 micrograms per day of acrylamide), it does show that in excess, consuming potato chips and french fries can directly increase heart disease risk. Suggests study author Dr. Mary Ann Johnson, "consumers can reduce their exposure to acrylamide by limiting their intake of potato chips and French fries, choosing a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat meat and dairy products, and quitting smoking, which is a major source of acrylamide."

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Johnson, Mary Ann. Price, Suzanne. American Society for Nutrition news release. February 2009.

Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.

Copyright © 2009 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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