Cold meats consumption and bladder cancer

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Cold meats (sausages, salami) are a mixture of minced meat, fat, salt and other spices, preservatives and sometimes other ingredients.

Cold meats are available in fresh form ( in this case must be cooked before consumption) and dried or smoked form already prepared for consumption.


1. Overview
2. Cancer caused by cold meats
3. Research and studies

Cancer caused by cold meats

Basically, in the cold meats composition may be used any type of meat, but most often are used mixtures of several types of meat or pork only. Wide range of these products includes spicy cold meats, salty flavors ranging from garlic to nutmeg.

Creative chefs prepare mixtures of vegetables, meat and seafood for those who avoid eating meat. There are also ways to reduce the amount of fat found in these products by cooking them in our own kitchen.

Additives in cold meats or bacon increase the risk of bladder cancer. Consuming processed meat, sausage or bacon could increase the risk of bladder cancer by almost a third, according to the experts warnings. Some additives that are used in meat processing are associated with this condition.

Research and studies

Research has shown that nitrate and sodium nitrite, types of salt which are added in old meats, bacon and packaged ham as part of the drying process, can react with stomach acid during digestion to form carcinogenic compounds such as N-nitroso.

Another study found that adults who consumed high amounts of nitrate and nitrite had a risk of developing bladder cancer by 30% higher than those who consumed small amounts of nitrates and nitrites.

Scientists have studied data collected from 300,000 men and women aged between 50 and 71 years to assess the relationship between the consumption of additives in meat and the risk of developing bladder cancer. They were followed for 8 years, during which 854 of them were later diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Those who consumed the highest amounts of nitrites and nitrates showed a 29-30% higher risk of developing the disease, so this may explain the fact that there is indeed a link between bladder cancer and processed meat consumption. Although the results of these studies are not yet 100% accurate, other types of research are still ongoing to better understand the link between a diet frequently containing red meat or processed meat and development of cancers.

Recent studies show that reducing the total meat consumption and meat derivatives may reduce the risk of developing certain cancers – including bladder cancer – in half.

Another study shows that in people who consume more than two servings of red meat or processed meat per day, the risk of developing certain types of cancer increases by a third.



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