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Linked to Health Concerns


Food Additives


F


ood should be good for you. But some isn’t. More than 10,000 addi- tives* are allowed in food. Some are


direct additives that are deliberately for- mulated into processed food. Others are indirect additives that get into food during processing, storage and packaging. How do you know which ones to avoid because they raise concerns and have been linked to serious health problems, including en- docrine disruption and cancer? Here’s a list of 12 additives that the


Environmental Working Group (EWG) calls the “Dirty Dozen.” We’ll tell you why,


which foods contain them and what you can do to avoid them.


Nitrates and Nitrites Ever wonder how cured meats like salami and ham are able to retain their seemingly fresh pink color after weeks on the store shelf? They may be treated with nitrates or nitrites – chemicals commonly used as coloring agents, preservatives and flavoring. Although they can prolong a food’s shelf life and give it an attractive hue, they come with health concerns. Nitrites and nitrates are used as pre-


Christen Duke, ANP-C


www.RobinhoodIntegrativeHealth.com Christen Duke, ANP-C


Christen Duke, ANP is a board certified Adult Nurse Practitioner with over 18 years experience in adult medicine. Using a natural, holistic approach, she encourages and assists people to maximize their health through optimal nu- trition, supplementation, and bio- identical hormone replacement. She continues to expand her mas- tery of other integrative issues. Christen’s goal for her patients is for them to live healthy lives feel- ing their best.


336.768.3335 6 NaturalTriad.com


servatives in cured meats such as bacon, salami, sausages and hot dogs. Nitrites, which can form from nitrates, react with naturally occurring components of protein called amines. This reaction can form ni- trosamines, which are known cancer- causing compounds. Nitrosamines can form in nitrite or nitrate-treated meat or in the digestive tract. Studies have linked nitrites to stomach


cancer (IARC 2010). Some data also sug- gest an association with cancer of the esophagus; one study showed an increased risk in people who eat cured meats more often (Rogers 1995; Mayne 2001). There is also evidence that nitrites may be as- sociated with brain and thyroid cancers, but a causal link has not been established (Preston-Martin 1996; Pogoda 2001; As- chebrook-Kilfoy 2013; IARC 2010). In 2010, scientists at the World Health


Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that ingested nitrites and nitrates are probable human carcinogens. The California Office of En- vironmental Health Hazard Assessment is currently considering listing nitrite in combination with amines or amides as a known carcinogen. Some nutritious foods such as spinach and other leafy vegetables are naturally high in nitrates, but human studies on nitrate intake from vegetables have found either no association with stomach cancer or a decreased risk (IARC 2010).


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