JAN 03, 2019 7:30 PM PST

Does eating burnt toast cause cancer?

WRITTEN BY: Heba El Wassef

No one like the taste of burnt toast but in our busy mornings, it could be the only available option for breakfast. Lately, there has been some talk about how burnt toast can cause cancer but is it true? The answer is not really.

The news was talking about the chemical compound produced upon heating starchy food like bread or potato by baking or frying which is acrylamide.

Acrylamide is indeed toxic in really large doses, some studies on industrial workers revealed their risk of neurological damage due to acrylamide exposure. However, there was no risk of cancer.

Some studies on mice showed that acrylamide could cause DNA damage and cancer, but there were plenty of other studies that contradicted these findings and showed that there was no risk of cancer.

The contradicting results could be because acrylamide is metabolized and absorbed at different rates in humans compared to mice. Also, these studies used doses of acrylamide on mice that are much more than what humans can intake on daily bases.

The FDA issued a document as a guide for the industry recommending lowering doses of acrylamide in certain food, but they mentioned that it is not obligatory and no legal responsibility is enforced.

More research is needed to determine any health risk of acrylamide on humans, but so far there is no health risk from intaking dietary acrylamide.

Sources: Youtube, National Cancer Institute, Cancer Research UK, NCBI

About the Author
  • A master student in Biochemistry and Molecular biology with experience in Education and Research. I am passionate about scientific research and passing my knowledge to others to help them learn about the latest in science by teaching, writing and volunteering in scientific events.
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