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Charcuterie, prepared meals… Beware of nitrites which would increase the risk of diabetes

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Yasmina Kattou
11:47 a.m., January 18, 2023

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More than 15,000 products on the French market contain nitrites or nitrates. Additives frequently used to guarantee better conservation of cold cuts but associated with high consumption, they would increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reveals an Inserm study.

15,000 food products contain: nitrites. They give, for example, its pink color to ham, and allow better preservation of food, but their regular consumption would increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reveals a study carried out by researchers from the National Institute of Health and medical research (Inserm), INRAE, Sorbonne Paris Nord University, Paris Cité University and Cnam, within the Nutritional Epidemiology Research Team (Eren-Cress).

Do not exceed 150 grams of cold cuts per week

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For the biggest consumers of products that contain nitrites such as cold cuts but also prepared meals, the risk of developing diabetes increases by 53%. Of more than 104,000 adults who took part in the Inserm study, nearly 1,000 have developed type 2 diabetes since 2009.

The common point of all these patients: their regular consumption of charcuterie, explains Mathilde Touvier, coordinator of the study. “Among the highest consumers of nitrites, we were around 24-25 grams of cold cuts per day, which represents between one and two slices, knowing that the recommendation is not to exceed 150 grams of cold cuts per week.

A link between nitrites and colorectal cancer

Last summer, the National Health Security Agency (ANSES) established a link between nitrites and colorectal cancer. Mathilde Touvier therefore hopes that this new proof of the dangerousness of these additives for health will lead to a reduction, or even a ban on the use of nitrites in food.

The NutriNet-Santé study is a cohort study whose objective is to better assess the relationship between health and nutrition and it is always possible to participate by registering on the site etude-nutrinet-sante.fr .

Source: Europe1

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