Oatmeal cancer claim questioned

April 4, 2008

Danish health experts are questioning a claim that oatmeal is a carcinogen.

A book by government health adviser Ane Bodil Sogaard says oatmeal contains acrylamide, which has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory rats, the Copenhagen Post said Thursday.

Christian Molgaard of the Danish Fitness and Nutrition Council said Sogaard's claim overstates the true risk.

"Of course we want to try and minimize our intake of unnecessary health-damaging substances in our foods, but we believe that oatmeal is a very good choice for breakfast because of its high-fiber content and low levels of sugar," Molgaard told consumer news site epn.dk.

A representative for the Danish Cancer Society said the levels of acrylamide levels in oatmeal are very low.

"I think it would be problematic if we scared Danes away from eating it," said Anne Tjonneland. "And not just because its acrylamide levels are very low -- far lower than most breakfast products -- but also due to its direct nutritional value."

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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