Impact of consumption of repeatedly heated cooking oils on the incidence of various cancers- A critical review

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(3):488-505. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2017.1379470. Epub 2017 Oct 20.


Repeated heating of vegetable oils at high temperatures during cooking is a very common cooking practice. Repeatedly heated cooking oils (RCO) can generate varieties of compounds, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), some of which have been reported as carcinogenic. RCO is one of the commonly consumed cooking and frying medium. These RCO consumption and inhalation of cooking fumes can pose a serious health hazard. Taking into account exploratory study, the present review aims to provide the consumption of RCO and its fumes cause the high incidence of genotoxic, mutagenic, tumorogenic and various cancers. The information on RCO and its fumes were collected through a library database and electronic search (ScienceDirect, PubMed, and Google Scholar). Remarkable studies demonstrated that the health adverse effects of RCO and its cooking fumes have been often attributed to their detrimental properties and ease to genotoxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic activities. RCO and its cooking fumes were found to enhance the incidence of aberrant cells, including breaks, fragments, exchanges and multiple chromosomal damages and micronuclei in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, the large consumption of RCO has been associated with a number of malignancies, including lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers. The present review provides additional insights into the polluting features of PAHs produced various cancers via cooking activities in indoor environments.

Keywords: Repeatedly heated vegetable oils; cancers; carcinogenicity; genotoxicity; mutagenicity; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Carcinogens / chemical synthesis
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Cooking / methods*
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Male
  • Mutagens
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Plant Oils / chemistry*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / adverse effects*
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / analysis
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons / chemical synthesis*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Risk Factors


  • Carcinogens
  • Mutagens
  • Plant Oils
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons