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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So you want to stuff a hot dog in it?

What are Nitrites?

Nitrites are salts or esters of Nitrous Acid. Nitrites are found naturally in many foods (formed by reduction of naturally occurring Nitrates).


Commercial Uses of Nitrites

Nitrates are used for Food Preparation Methods
Synthetically manufactured Nitrites are used as Food Preservatives for many Processed Meats and are commonly present in Smoked, Pickled and Cured Foods.

Are Nitrites Harmful?

There are some toxic effects of Nitrites:
Amino Acids - Toxic Byproducts-Nitrites can combine with Amino Acids within the Stomach to form Nitrosamines that are extremely potent carcinogens capable of causing Cancer in many parts of the body, especially:
- Esophagus Cancer
- Larynx Cancer
- Mouth Cancer

These Substances Reduce the Toxic Effects of Nitrites

Amino Acids-Thioproline (TCA) prevents the conversion of dietary Nitrites to Nitrosamines.

Polyphenols-Many types of Polyphenols inhibit the conversion of Nitrites to carcinogenic Nitrosamines within the Stomach.
Tannins inhibit the conversion of Nitrites to carcinogenic Nitrosamines within the Stomach.

Vitamins-Vitamin C inhibits the conversion of Nitrites to carcinogenic Nitrosamines within the Stomach (by up to 81%).
Vitamin E inhibits the conversion of Nitrites to carcinogenic Nitrosamines within the Stomach.

These Foods Reduce the Toxic Effects of Nitrites

Beverages
Coffee inhibits the conversion of Nitrites to carcinogenic Nitrosamines within the Stomach (due to the Polyphenols content of Coffee).
Tea inhibits the conversion of Nitrites to carcinogenic Nitrosamines within the Stomach (due to Polyphenols in Tea).

Fruit
Strawberries inhibit the conversion of Nitrites to carcinogenic Nitrosamines within the Stomach (due to Polyphenols in Strawberries).

Vegetables
Garlic prevents the conversion of dietary Nitrites into carcinogenic Nitrosamines.

Positive Effects of Nitrites

Food Poisoning-Nitrites kill the Clostridium botulinum Bacteria that cause Botulism.

Dietary Sources of Nitrites

Processed Foods
Nitrites are used as a preservative for many types of Processed Animal Foods - their usage as a Food Preservative is being phased out due to their toxic effects.

Moderation is always the key
How many hot dogs do you eat? How many nitrites have you eaten?


Information and resource provided by In-Tele-Health © 2002 (from Hyperhealth Pro CD-ROM)

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