The debate on the potential carcinogenic effect of dietary acrylamide is open. In consideration of the recent findings from large prospective investigations, we conducted an updated meta-analysis on acrylamide intake and the risk of cancer at several sites. Up to July 2014, we identified 32 publications. We performed meta-analyses to calculate the summary relative risk (RR) of each cancer site for the highest versus lowest level of intake and for an increment of 10 μg/day of dietary acrylamide, through fixed-effects or random-effects models, depending on the heterogeneity test. Fourteen cancer sites could be examined. No meaningful associations were found for most cancers considered. The summary RRs for high versus low acrylamide intake were 0.87 for oral and pharyngeal, 1.14 for esophageal, 1.03 for stomach, 0.94 for colorectal, 0.93 for pancreatic, 1.10 for laryngeal, 0.88 for lung, 0.96 for breast, 1.06 for endometrial, 1.12 for ovarian, 1.00 for prostate, 0.93 for bladder and 1.13 for lymphoid malignancies. The RR was of borderline significance only for kidney cancer (RR = 1.20; 95% confidence interval, CI, 1.00–1.45). All the corresponding continuous estimates ranged between 0.95 and 1.03, and none of them was significant. Among never-smokers, borderline associations with dietary acrylamide emerged for endometrial (RR = 1.23; 95% CI, 1.00–1.51) and ovarian (RR = 1.39; 95% CI, 0.97–2.00) cancers. This systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies indicates that dietary acrylamide is not related to the risk of most common cancers. A modest association for kidney cancer, and for endometrial and ovarian cancers in never smokers only, cannot be excluded.
Acrylamide is formed in a variety of foods, and some evidence suggests it may cause cancer. How dangerous is dietary acrylamide? This study collated data from 32 earlier projects evaluating the relationship between acrylamide consumed in foods and cancer risk. Of fourteen cancer sites represented, only kidney cancer showed a possible increase in risk associated with dietary acrylamide. When they narrowed the analysis to people who had never smoked, dietary acrylamide appeared to slightly increase risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer as well.