Doctor's Note

If you just arrived right in the middle of this story, for the benefits of vegetable nitrates I allude to, see Doping With Beet Juice, Out of the Lab and Onto the Track, and Vegetables Rate by Nitrate. For the problems associated with nitrites added to meat, see yesterday’s video and When Nitrites Go Bad. Which meats have the most nitrite? Find out in tomorrow's video-of-the-day. Which veggies have the most nitrate? See Vegetables Rate by Nitrate. There are 48 other videos on what phytonutrients can do. Good places to start include The Power of No, Phytonutrients: The Nutrition Facts Missing From the Label, and Convergence of Evidence. And there are hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects here at NutritionFacts.org—enjoy!

For some context, please check out my associated blog post, Using Greens to Improve Athletic Performance.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    If you just arrived right in the middle of this story, for the benefits of vegetable nitrates I allude to, see Doping With Beet Juice, Out of the Lab and Onto the Track, and Vegetables Rate by Nitrate. For the problems associated with nitrites added to meat, see yesterday’s video and When Nitrites Go Bad. Which meats have the most nitrite? Find out in tomorrow’s video-of-the-day. Which veggies have the most nitrate? See Vegetables Rate by Nitrate. There are 48 other videos on what phytonutrients can do. Good places to start include The Power of No, Phytonutrients: The Nutrition Facts Missing From the Label, and Convergence of Evidence. And there are hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects here at NutritionFacts.org—enjoy!

  • Maggie F

    So what if lots of greens are consumed with the processed meats? Does that block or minimize the conversion to nitrosamines?

    • Toxins

      We will see that when vitamin c is added to processed meat, the nitrosamines are amplified significantly. From this I can assume that when consumed with plant foods the nitrosamines are more harmful. this is my assumption, I don’t know if Dr. Greger has other information.

    • veganina

      I would love to hear this explained to! :)

  • JTodd

    Wow–bravo on this whole beet juice-mitochondrial efficiency-nitrosamine series. It’s easy to see that you love teaching this stuff, and you’re good at it. You do an excellent job at conveying an engaging story, complete with history, biochemistry, puzzle-solving. Thank you, Dr. Greger.

  • Jessica

    Very interesting! So nitrites in wine are ok because they’re consumed with grapes? Or are there other reasons to be concerned?

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    For some context, please check out my associated blog post Using Greens to Improve Athletic Performance!

  • Rashmi Cabena

    Chris Kresser Lac has been confusing commom men with his data. I gave your present link to him. But I would also aprreciate you comments on this statement he made in his article he posted on face book  ” When it comes to food, vegetables are the primary source of nitrites. On average, about 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables. It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs. (2) And your own saliva has more nitrites than all of them! So before you eliminate cured meats from your diet, you might want to address your celery intake. And try not to swallow so frequently.” he is very cheeky.

    • Martin Miller Poynter

      I think the above video spells it out.

  • http://nutrientuniverse.blogspot.co.uk/ JamesKB
    • Toxins

      This all supports Dr. Greger’s statements. Pant foods contain nitrates not nitrites. Vitamin c affects nitrites.

      • http://nutrientuniverse.blogspot.co.uk/ JamesKB

        Ah, Nitrites. I think I read it as Nitrates.

        It does say Nitrites are in saliva however. This was done outside the body though. Probably nothing to worry about I guess.

        • Toxins

          Indeed, Nitrates are swallowed, circulated back through to the saliva where bacteria convert the nitrates into nitrites and then again swallowed to convert into nitric oxide.

          • http://nutrientuniverse.blogspot.co.uk/ JamesKB

            Splendid :)

          • Arun Mukherjee

            Dr. Gregar, what about prepared meats that do not use nitrites? A friend of mine buys cold cuts from Menonites and says that they do not use any preservatives. What is your opinion about these “organic” prepared meats?

  • Mike

    This study suggest the presence of 10% lipid in the stomach with nitrates and vitaminc C causes nitrosamine formation!
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2095705/