Kids who eat bacon and other meats containing nitrites more than once a week have a 74 percent increased risk of leukemia than children who did not eat these foods.
Conversely, children whose ate veggies and soy regularly have more protection against cancer.
The study found the steep increase in 515 Taiwanese children and teenagers with and without acute leukemia. While researchers did post the study in the online journal BMC Central, they warned against giving it cause-and-effect status just yet. Long term studies must be done.
Still, kids should limit their intake of these foods. Though diets obviously vary between different cultures, researcher Dr. David C. Christiani said that nitrates are in cured meats and fish regardless of where in the world you’re eating them.
During the curing process, foods are preserved and flavored by the addition of salt, sugar and chemicals called nitrites; the foods are often smoked as well. Nitrites are precursors to compounds known as nitrosamines, which are potentially cancer-promoting.
But as we all know, fruits, vegetables, and soy products contain antioxidants, which protect against cancer and other diseases.
Until we hear differently, limit these salty delicious foods and head for the colorful produce aisles, especially for our little ones.
Source: Reuters Health