February 25/Heart Disease Weekly -- A new study published in the March 2009 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Marek Naruszewicz and colleagues from Poland suggests that acrylamide from foods may increase the risk of heart disease. Acrylamide has been linked previously to nervous system disorders and possibly to cancer. After ingesting large amounts of potato chips providing about 157 micrograms of acrylamide daily for four weeks, the participants had adverse changes in oxidized LDL, inflammatory markers and antioxidants that help the body eliminate acrylamide all of which may increase the risk of heart disease. Additional research is needed in long-term studies of people consuming typical amounts of acrylamide (averaging about 20 to 30 micrograms).
It is recommended that FDA and the food industry continue to decrease acrylamide in foods by improving food processing technologies. FDA reports that acrylamide is particularly high in potato chips and French fries (http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/acrydata.html). According to American Society for Nutrition spokesperson Mary Ann Johnson, PhD, "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."
From the February 16, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition