Processed Foods Linked To Increased Lung Cancer Risk

Jan 14, 2009 by

Processed Foods Linked To Increased Lung Cancer Risk

The role of food, diet and nutrition in the development of chronic and degenerative diseases, including cancer, cannot be overstated. As the saying goes, you are what you eat.

With specific regard to lung cancer, do you know someone, or heard of people, who got the disease despite not having smoked at all?

Lung cancer is one of the biggest killers of all the various types of cancer. Of course, there are other “airy” issues at play – air pollution, vehicle exhaust from traffic, toxic fumes from chemical agents, etc.

Work environment plays a big part too, with many people exposed to dangerous chemicals vapors and fumes in the course of making a living.

A recent study conducted at the Seoul National University and published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine has uncovered one more link – inorganic phosphates in processed foods playing a part in lung cancer development.

Inorganic phosphates are found in many processed foods, including bakery products, beverages, cheeses and meats, and the study team found that these chemicals may encourage lung cancer growth. In addition, it may also lead to the development of malignant tumors in those who are predisposed to lung cancer.

”Our results clearly demonstrated that the diet higher in inorganic phosphates caused an increase in the size of the tumors and stimulated growth of the tumors. Our study indicates that increased intake of inorganic phosphates strongly stimulates lung cancer development in mice, and suggests that dietary regulation of inorganic phosphates may be critical for lung cancer treatment as well as prevention,” said Myung-Haing Cho, DVM, PhD, the leader of the study.

The truth is, living organisms do require a certain amount of phosphate. However, the addition of inorganic phosphates to increase water retention and improve food texture has increased in prevalence over the last ten years or so. The average junk and processed food diet thus has way too much phosphates.

“In the 1990s, phosphorous-containing food additives contributed an estimated 470 mg per day to the average daily adult diet. However, phosphates are currently being added much more frequently to a large number of processed foods, including meats, cheeses, beverages, and bakery products. As a result, depending on individual food choices, phosphorous intake could be increased by as much as 1000 mg per day,” added Dr Cho.

“The results of this study suggest that dietary regulation of inorganic phosphates has a place in lung cancer treatment, and our eventual goal is to collect sufficient information to accurately assess the risk of these phosphates,” he also said.

Read more about how Lung Cancer Risk May Be Increased By Inorganic Phosphates in Processed Foods at Cancer Research

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