Transcript: Vitamin C-Enriched Bacon
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 does not 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 phytonutrients such as vitamin C, nitrosamine production drops as much as a thousandfold, or is completely blocked. In contrast, in the presence of fat, vitamin C has the opposite effect, increasing nitrosamine production 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, which have the phytonutrients, without the fat that Jekyll-and-Hydes them. The bottom line? 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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