Colon cancer and colitis worsen as a result of frying oil consumption in mouse studies.

In a new study published in Cancer Prevention Research researchers concluded that feeding frying oil to mice exaggerated colonic inflammation, enhanced tumor growth and worsened gut leakage, spreading bacteria or toxic bacterial products into the blood stream. Researchers said their research does not say that frying oil can cause cancer but that it suggests fried foods may exacerbate and advance conditions of the colon. “If somebody has IBD or colon cancer and they eat this kind of food, there is a chance it will make the diseases more aggressive.”

In their study researchers used a real-world sample of canola oil, in which falafel had been cooked at 325 degrees farenheit in a standard commercial fryer at a restaurant in Massachusetts. The oil had been analyzed for an array of chemical reactions during the frying process and characterized according to a fatty acid profile, the level of free fatty acids and the status of oxidation.  A combination of the frying oil and fresh oil was added to the powdered diet of one group of mice and the control was fed the powder with only fresh oil mixed in. Rersearches said “We tried to mimic the human being’s diet.” They found that adding the frying oil to the diet worsened colonic inflammation, colon tumor growth, and gut leakage. For example, tumor growth doubled in size from the control to study groups.

To determine if oxidation of polmunsaturated fatty acids, which occur when the oil is heated, is instrumental in the inflammattory effects, polar compounds from the frying oil was isolated and fed to the mice.  Results were similar to those from the experiment in which mice were fed frying oil. This suggested that the polswar compounds mediated the inflammatory effects. Researchers cautioned tyhat more research is needed but suggested people with inflammatory bowel disease eat less friend foods.

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