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Chemicals in Meat may be Linked to Bladder Cancer
The same chemicals that paint your hot dogs pink and keep botulism out of your bologna could also raise your risk of bladder cancer, suggests a new study.
Based on findings from more than 300,000 people, the researchers point a tentative finger at nitrites and nitrates, compounds added to meat for preservation, color and flavor.
"We investigated whether compounds found in meat, formed either during the meat cooking process -- heterocyclic amines or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons -- or during meat preservation -- nitrates and nitrites -- were associated with bladder cancer."
For the study, Cross and her colleagues used information from a National Institutes of Health which followed 300,933 older men and women from across the United States. During the 7-year study, a total of 854 participants were diagnosed with bladder cancer.
People whose diets included the most nitrites (from all sources, not just meat) and those whose diets had the largest amount of nitrate plus nitrite from processed meats, were also nearly a third more likely to develop bladder cancer compared to people categorized in the bottom fifth for consumption of these compounds, the researchers report in the journal Cancer.
During the cooking process, nitrites and nitrates combine with other chemicals that are naturally present in meat to form potentially cancer-causing N-nitroso compounds, which may then be excreted through the urinary tract where they can contact the lining of the bladder.
She points to a 2007 World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research report, which concluded that individuals should "limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork and lamb) and avoid processed meat (ham, bacon, salami)."
Dr. Iverson's Comment
I outlined in my book Nature’s Diet that Nature did not provide meat to us filled with colors and flavors and preservatives and chemicals. What we are seeing here is the result of what Man has added back to the meat to make it taste better to our senses. Sure, I know how to rain on your parade or your baseball game or your 4th of July! The reality is that meat that is processed is loaded with chemicals that are proving to be toxic enough to cause cancer. Having an occasional hotdog is not a big deal to the body because it is magnificent in its ability to clear toxicity. Having processed meat day after day in multiple forms can cause serious issues. Especially eating processed meat cooked on a grill—now you are really increasing your problems!
Choose clean meat organic or free range that has minimal processing. It is best to cook meat lightly on both sides, leaving it rare to medium rare for best assimilation of nutrients. It has also been shown that the dangerous byproducts that occur with cooking meat are at their lowest when it is cooked in a crock pot or slow roasted in the oven. The most dangerous way to cook meat is on a grill where it is flamed on hi heat. This creates the highest amount of byproducts unless you have marinated the meat in herbs before cooking. I talk about how to prepare meat safely with maximum nutritional benefit in my book.
Be well~

Andrew Iverson

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