The addition of vitamin C to processed (cured) meats such as bacon may actually make them more carcinogenic.
Image thanks to Dev Librarian.
If plant-based antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E can block the formation of nitrosamines, why don’t the bacon manufacturers of the world just add some vitamin C to their meat? They do. In fact by law, in the United States, bacon has to have antioxidants like vitamin C added to it to cut down on nitrosamine production. So what’s the problem?
The vitamin C doesn’t work in the presence of fat; in fact, it looks like it actually makes meat more carcinogenic, if you can believe it. In the presence of an antioxidant like vitamin C, nitrosamine production drops as much as a thousand-fold, or is completely blocked. In contrast, in the presence of fat, vitamin C has the opposite effect, increasing nitrosamine formation 8–fold, 60-fold—140-fold even. Instead of neutralizing the risk of nitrites, adding vitamin C to meat may make it worse. The presence of fat converts vitamin C from inhibiting to promoting acid nitrosamine production,… for this kind-of-complicated reason, which you can read about.
So when meat industry commentators exclaim: Pork is good for you. Animal fat is food for you. Cured meats assist the human body with cardiovascular health, they, don’t know what they’re talking about. The natural source of nitrites are from the nitrates in vegetables. The bottomline? Our body wasn’t designed to get its vegetables in the form of bacon.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Dianne Moore.
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If you haven't seen it, or need to brush up, the carcinogen-blocking effect of phytonutrients to which I refer was covered three days ago in Prevention Is Better Than Cured Meat. And for more on crazy things food industries say, check out Heart Attacks and Cholesterol Agribusiness Sees It Differently, Egg Industry Blind Spot, Dietary Guidelines: Corporate Guidance, Dietary Guidelines: Pushback From the Sugar, Salt and Meat Industries and Is Pomegranate Juice That Wonderful?. This video is the second to last video in my 3-week series that started with Doping With Beet Juice and will end tomorrow with a video entitled "So should we drink beet juice or not?" Thanks for sticking it out with me! Now you just have another 1500 or so other topics to enjoy.
For some context, please check out my associated blog post, Using Greens to Improve Athletic Performance.