In a new study, researchers examined the impact of frying oil consumption on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colon cancer.
They found eating fried oil could trigger colonic inflammation, enhanced tumor growth and worsened gut leakage, spreading bacteria or toxic bacterial products into the bloodstream.
The research was conducted by a team from University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Foods fried in vegetable oil are popular worldwide, but the health effects of this cooking technique has been unknown.
In the study, the team focused on the effect of fried oil on individuals with colonic inflammation or colon cancer.
They used a real-world sample of canola oil, in which falafel had been cooked at 325 F in a standard commercial fryer at an eatery in Amherst, Massachusetts.
They checked the chemical reactions during the frying process, including the fatty acid profiles, the level of free fatty acids and the status of oxidation.
A combination of the frying oil and fresh oil was added to the powder diet of one group of mice. The control group was fed the powder diet with only fresh oil mixed in.
The researchers looked at the effects of the diets on colonic inflammation, colon tumor growth and gut leakage, and they found that the frying oil diet worsened all the conditions.
They also found the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which occurs when the oil is heated, played a big role in the inflammatory effects.
While more research is needed, the researchers hope a better understanding of the health impacts of frying oil will lead to dietary guidelines and public health policies.
They suggest that eating fried foods may exacerbate and advance the 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.
The lead author of the study is Ph.D. student Jianan Zhang.
The study is published in Cancer Prevention Research.
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