Influence of Diet on Exposure to Acrylamide – Reflections on the Validity of a QuestionnaireKütting B.a · Schettgen T.a · Beckmann M.W.b · Angerer J.a · Drexler H.a
aInstitute and Outpatient Clinic of Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine and bGynaecological Hospital, Friederich Alexander University, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
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Aim: This pilot study attempts to assess how far the standardized questionnaires are a valid tool to detect the food-related burden of acrylamide. Acrylamide is a toxic substance classified by the International Agency of Research on Cancer, as well as the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, as a probable human carcinogen. Methods: A venous blood sample was taken in order to determine the smoking-specific acrylnitrile adduct N-cyanoethylvaline and the acrylamide adduct N-2-carbamoylethylvaline in a female study population expecting delivery soon. A standardized questionnaire was used to determine the consumption of acrylamide-contaminated food. The results of our questionnaire were transferred to a linear evaluation system. Finally, anamnestic data of the questionnaire were correlated to objective parameters such as blood levels of hemoglobin adducts of acrylamide and acrylonitrile. Results: A positive correlation between the acrylamide intake and the levels of hemoglobin adducts in our study population was not proven. Conclusions: Evaluation of food-related exposure to acrylamide is difficult due to several reasons. Firstly, the validity of anamnestic data strongly depends on the patient’s ability to remember precisely all consumed food (quality as well as quantity) over a 3-month period. In addition, the contamination of acrylamide in food varies from one product to another; even the contamination of the same product is variable. Therefore, the missing correlation between the questionnaire and hemoglobin adduct rates is rather due to restricted validity of anamnestic data.
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