dr bondonno

Could nitrates in vegetables pose cancer risk? New study asks

Dubbed “nutrition’s Jekyll and Hyde”, nitrate and its health effects have been questioned for a long time.

Hidden in foods like ham, bacon, and sausages, the compounds could potentially hike your risk of cancer, according to previous research.

However, other studies have also found various cardiovascular health benefits coming from dietary sources of nitrate like beetroots and leafy greens.

Now, the research team from Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute hopes to settle this debate once and for all.

Source seems important

Dr Catherine Bondonno, who led the review, published in Trends in Food Science and Technology, suggested the source where nitrate comes from might be key.

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She said: “We get nitrate from three major dietary sources: meat, water and vegetables.

“Nitrate’s reputation as a health threat stems from 1970, when two studies

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healthy heart or cancer risk? Meet nutrition’s Jekyll and Hyde

vegetables
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Despite our understanding of nutrition expanding remarkably in recent times, few aspects of our diet continue to confuse and divide the experts like nitrate.

For a long time nitrate has been viewed warily, with previous research showing it could potentially be linked to causing cancer.

However, subsequent research has revealed dietary nitrate also has various cardiovascular health benefits, which could help reduce the risk of related conditions such as heart disease, dementia and diabetes.

So, how can one dietary compound have such contrasting potential risks and benefits?

Edith Cowan University’s (ECU) Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute hopes to find out how and why nitrate such contrasting potential risks and benefits.

All about the source

Dr. Catherine Bondonno led a review of nitrate research and says the key may lie in where it comes from.

“We get nitrate from three major dietary sources: meat, water

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