The latest? According to researchers in France, processed meats aggravate asthma.
Published in the journal Thorax, a study confirms that nitrate, which is used in many processed meats, aggravates the airways.
In moderate to massive doses, nitrite can cause all kinds of problems, according to LiveScience.
“Under certain conditions, nitrite can instead form nitrosamines, molecules that cause cancer in lab animals. In an effort to minimize nitrosamine formation, while still preventing food-borne illnesses like botulism, the U.S. Department of Agriculture enforces a limit of 200 parts of sodium nitrite preservatives per million parts of meat, by weight,” says the popular online science journal.
Nathan Bryan, professor of integrated biology and pharmacology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston disagrees. He says that nitrate preservatives are safe.
“There's no difference whatsoever in the nitrite that you get from cured and processed meats versus what you get from vegetables. It's the same molecule,” says Bryan.
Yet another viewpoint comes from Amanda Cross, an investigator with the National Institute of Health.
“Multiple [epidemiological] studies have found a relationship between processed meat intake and increased risk of colorectal cancer,” says Cross. “In addition to nitrate and nitrite, it is possible that there are other components of processed meats that are responsible for the associations observed with colorectal cancer.”
What Do You Think?
Are you on-board with the latest health warnings about nitrates and nitrites, or are you from the school of thought that we’re all going to die of something anyway?
Every week there’s a new health “bombshell,” isn’t there? It seems you have to quit eating this, start eating that, and avoid skin contact with another thing in order to make it through just one more month alive.