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Diabetic Complications with Processed Food

Rising mortality among diabetics could be blamed on the steady intake of nitrosamines found in processed and preserved food, and the environment. A recent study held at Little Falls, New Jersey by Dr. Suzanne de la Monte of the Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital in Providence found that nitrosamines, nitrates and nitrites are associated with insulin resistance. Her team also suggested that this chemical-infested food can actually induce DNA damage, oxidative stress, cell death and even cancer.

According to the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, insulin resistance is a characteristic of normal aging, diabetes,Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It was also stipulated that the rates of these diseases have increased rapidly the past decades that genetics can hardly explain the phenomena. “Epidemiological trends support exposure rather than genetic causes of these diseases,” they said.

The researchers found a rise in the rate of these diseases with the prevalence of the exposure to the nitrosamines in processed food and fertilizers. “Nitrogen-containing fertilizer consumption increased by 230% between 1955 and 2005, and its use doubled from 1960 to 1980,” the researchers said. “Also, sales from fast food chains and the meat processing company increased more than eight-fold from 1970 to 2005 and grain consumption increased five-fold.”

Nitrosamines are deliberately added to foods for various reasons. Sodium nitrite, for instance is added to meat and fish to prevent toxin production by Clostridium botulinum. It’s also used to preserve, color, and flavor meats,” the researchers explained. “Additional exposures occur through manufacturing, processing, and using rubber and latex products, fertilizers, pesticides, and cosmetics.”

With this, the researchers proposed that exposure to nitrates, nitrites, and nitrosamines-through the food supply, smoking, and use of products such as fertilizers might be to blame. The team of Dr. De la Monte cited previous studies showing that the cellular changes induced by nitrosamines are similar to those that occur during normal aging and with diseases characterized by insulin resistance. They also tracked mortality trends from 1968 to 2005 to investigate whether or not a link exists between nitrosamine exposure and the rates of diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease. Over that time period, death rates for Alzheimer’s disease jumped 150fold in individuals aged 75 to 84 and 800-fold in those 85 and older.

The research findings showed that death rates for diabetes reached a low in 1980 and increased through the end of the study period, with some evidence of a plateau in three of the last four years. These patterns were compared with trends in the consumption of fast food, use of nitrite-containing fertilizers, sales from a major meat processing company, and consumption of grain-all indirect measures of exposure to nitrosamines-from 1955 to 2005. The researchers found strong parallels between increases in exposure and disease mortality rates.

“Exposures to nitrites and nitrosamines through food, water, and agriculture have increased just prior to and within the same interval as increasing mortality rates due to proliferation of food processing, increase requirement for food preservation to enable ‘safe’ storage and long distance shipping, and the use of fertilizers to enhance crop growth and meet growing demand for produce,” the researchers said.

In conclusion, the researchers strongly recommended that sincere efforts be made to significantly curtail or eliminate human exposure to nitrates and nitrites and refine extant biotechnology to monitor exposure, metabolite formation, and associated cell and tissue injury ~ linked to nitrosamine-mediated insulin resistance’ related diseases.

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