Can Fried Foods Cause Prostate Cancer

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New research suggests fried foods cause prostate cancer among men who eat these foods at least once a week. This finding highlights the importance of diet and nutrition in prostate cancer risk. The new study is also the first one to point out that deep fried foods may present a significant risk for prostate cancer.

Which fried foods cause prostate cancer?

According to a team of experts from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, Washington, men who chow down on French fries, doughnuts, deep fried fish, and fried chicken may increase their chances of developing prostate cancer by about 30 to 37 percent. The estimated risk of prostate cancer from eating deep fried foods was slightly stronger for aggressive cancer.

The authors also pointed out that their results depended on the men in the study recalling their eating habits over a long time period. Specifically, the more than 3,000 men were asked to recall their intake of deep fried foods over the previous three to five years, so the dependability of the findings depends in part on the accuracy of the reporting.

Details of the fried foods study

Authors of the fried foods study evaluated data collected from two studies that involved 1,549 men with prostate cancer and 1,492 men who were cancer-free. All the participants completed food questionnaires, and this information along with factors such as age, weight, family history of prostate cancer, and ethnicity were analyzed.

Dr. Janet Stanford, who headed the research, noted that their evaluation led her team to conclude that “regular consumption of deep-fried foods confers a particular risk for developing prostate cancer.” The team determined that eating fried foods more than once a week was the definition of regular consumption.

The authors speculated why fried foods cause prostate cancer. One reason may be that the high temperatures reached during deep frying cause carcinogenic compounds such as acrylamide to form.

Deep fried foods that involve meat such as chicken can harbor compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines, which also have been linked to cancer.

Best diet for prostate health

While research indicates fried foods cause prostate cancer, many other foods are beneficial for prostate health and may help prevent prostate cancer. The best diet for prostate health and to help prevent prostate cancer is the Prostate Health Diet. This approach focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole natural grains, beans, legumes, and nuts, with moderate amounts of fish rich in omega-3s, and plant protein rather than animal protein.

Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.


Stott-Miller M et al. Consumption of deep-fried foods and risk of prostate cancer. Prostate 2013 Jun; 73(9): 960-69

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