Nitrites and Nitrates Associated With Increased Cancer Risk
A French study investigated the relationship between intake of nitrites and nitrates (all sources combined) and the risk of cancer. Data from more than 100,000 individuals were analyzed, with the results showing an increase of close to 25% in the risk of breast cancer among those who frequently consumed nitrate-containing products in their diet and an increase of close to 60% in the risk of prostate cancer among those who frequently consumed nitrite-containing food products. No association was demonstrated with regard to exposure to natural sources of nitrites and nitrates.
@arya-veer Nitrites and nitrates occur naturally in water and soils, but they are also used as preservatives in processed meats. Although the results need to be confirmed by other large-scale prospective studies, they certainly add new food for thought in the lively debate on a potential precautionary ban on the use of these additives. Various international public health authorities already recommend limiting consumption of foods containing controversial additives.