British Journal of Nutrition

Dietary Surveys and Nutritional Epidemiology

Dietary determinants for Hb-acrylamide and Hb-glycidamide adducts in Danish non-smoking women

Malene Outzena1 c1, Rikke Egeberga1, Lars Dragsteda2, Jane Christensena1, Pelle T. Olesena3, Henrik Frandsena3, Kim Overvada4, Anne Tjønnelanda1 and Anja Olsena1

a1 Department of Diet, Cancer and Health, Institute of Cancer Epidemiology, Danish Cancer Society, Strandboulevarden 49, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

a2 Department of Human Nutrition, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

a3 National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Søborg, Denmark

a4 Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark


Acrylamide (AA) is a probable human carcinogen that is formed in heat-treated carbohydrate-rich foods. The validity of FFQ to assess AA exposure has been questioned. The aim of the present cross-sectional study was to investigate dietary determinants of Hb-AA and Hb-glycidamide (GA) adducts. The study included 537 non-smoking women aged 50–65 years who participated in the Diet, Cancer and Health cohort (1993–97). At study baseline, blood samples and information on dietary and lifestyle variables obtained from self-administered questionnaires were collected. From blood samples, Hb-AA and Hb-GA in erythrocytes were analysed by liquid chromatography/MS/MS. Dietary determinants were evaluated by multiple linear regression analyses adjusted for age and smoking behaviour among ex-smokers. The median for Hb-AA was 35 pmol/g globin (5th percentile 17, 95th percentile 89) and for Hb-GA 21 pmol/g globin (5th percentile 8, 95th percentile 49). Of the dietary factors studied, intakes of coffee and chips were statistically significantly associated with a 4 % per 200 g/d (95 % CI 2, 7; P < 0·0001) and an 18 % per 5 g/d (95 % CI 6, 31; P = 0·002) higher Hb-AA, respectively. This model explained 17 % of the variation in Hb-AA. Intakes of coffee and biscuits/crackers were statistically significantly associated with a 3 % per 200 g/d (95 % CI 1, 6; P = 0·005) and 12 % per 10 g/d (95 % CI 3, 23; P = 0·01) higher Hb-GA, respectively. This model explained 12 % of the variation in Hb-GA. In conclusion, only a few dietary determinants of Hb-AA and Hb-GA were identified. Thus, the present study implies that dietary intake measured by an FFQ explains only to a limited extent the variation in Hb-AA and Hb-GA concentrations.

(Received May 11 2010)

(Revised October 13 2010)

(Accepted November 02 2010)

(Online publication January 28 2011)


c1 Corresponding author: M. Outzen, fax +45 35257731, email


Abbreviations: AA, acrylamide; GA, glycidamide; LOQ, limit of quantification