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Cured Meats Increase Risk of Childhood Leukaemia

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A report by online journal BMC Cancer has said that children who eat cured meat like bacon, ham and sausages on a regular basis may be at more risk of developing leukaemia.

Foods such as bacon, ham and hot-dogs can increase leukaemia risk, while vegetables and soy may help to reduce risks of cancer.

A study of over 500 children and teenagers (with and without leukaemia) was carried out in Taiwan, and the results showed that those who regularly ate cured meats and fish had a 74% greater chance of developing leukaemia.

Children eating more vegetables and soy products were at half the risk of those who avoided them.

The study made the link between the food and the disease but could not prove why this is the case and what other factors may affect the results.

Dr. David Christiani of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston has said that further research is required on both humans and animals to find the link between diet and leukaemia. He also said that despite the need for more information, he does suggest that children should avoid eating large amounts of cured meats.

The process of curing meat may be a cause for increased risk of illness. Flavouring, artificial colourings and preservatives containing nitrates may be one factor in the further threat of cancer. Nitrites are precursors to nitrosamines, which are potentially carcinogenic. Vegetables on the other hand contain antioxidants which help the body to counterbalance such ingredients.


Source: Cured meats tied to childhood leukemia risk (

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