Study: no link between brain tumors, nitrites, nitrates

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON — Consuming food containing nitrates and nitrites is not related to the risk of brain tumors found in supportive tissue (glioma), according to a new study from Imperial College London and Harvard, according to The American Meat Institute.

Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study examined the relationship between intakes of meats, nitrate, nitrite and 2 nitrosamines and glioma risk in a prospective analysis that included data from three U.S. prospective cohort studies. Risk of glioma was not elevated among individuals in the highest intake category of total processed meats, nitrate, nitrites or N.D.M.A. compared with the lowest category. No effect modification was observed by intake of vitamins C or E or other antioxidant measures.

Three-hundred thirty-five glioma cases diagnosed during 24 years of follow-up were reviewed in the analysis. Dietary intake was assessed with food frequency questionnaires. Nitrate, nitrite and nitrosamine values were calculated based on published values of these nutrients in various foods over different periods in time.

Results of this study correspond with recent findings that the nitrites and nitrates do not increase the risk of having cancer and, in fact, offer health benefits.

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