No Link Seen Between Meat And Risk Of Brain Cancer
by Amy Norton, Reuters
Posted: 2009-10-02 11:25:52 EST

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Despite theories to the contrary, adults who eat a lot of meat may not have a heightened risk of the most common type of malignant brain tumor, a new study finds.

The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at the potential link between brain tumors called gliomas and people's intake of meat and compounds called nitrosamines.

Nitrosamines, which are potentially cancer-promoting, are present in certain foods, or are formed in the body other chemicals we eat called sodium nitrites and nitrates. These compounds are used in preserving and flavoring processed and cured meats -- like hot dogs, bacon, sausage and ham -- which makes those foods major sources of dietary nitrosamines.

For several decades, researchers have thought that nitrosamines -- which can cross from the blood to the brain -- may contribute to the risk of gliomas, a group of brain tumors that makes up about 80 percent of malignant brain cancers in adults.

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