Nitrite in meat products: sausage consumption can aggravate asthma

Sausages and ham have a negative effect on asthma
Researchers have found in a study that eating nitrate-containing sausages and ham significantly increases the symptoms of asthma. According to the recommendation of the scientists, asthmatics should refrain from consuming it.

The researchers from Paul Brousse Hospital found in an investigation that eating sausage, salami and ham results in a worsening of the symptoms of asthma. The physicians published their findings in the journal "BMJ Thorax".

The consumption of processed meat seems to increase the symptoms of asthma. For this reason, those affected should reduce the consumption of ham, salami and sausages.(Photo: Kalle Kolodziej /

Four servings of processed meat per week affect the symptoms of asthma
Exploiting more than four servings of processed meat a week increases your asthma risk, experts say. For the study, the scientists examined nearly 1,000 subjects from France.

The preservative nitrite appears to trigger the increased risk of asthma

The researchers suggest that a preservative in the processed meat leads to the increased risk of asthma. This substance called nitrite is included in sausages, salami and ham, for example. However, the connection has not been fully reviewed and further investigation is needed, say the experts. Processed meat has previously been linked to the development of cancer.

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Do not consume more than 70 grams of red processed meat a day
Instead of worrying about the type of food, people should simply eat a healthy and varied diet, the researchers explain, The doctors advise that people should not eat more than 70 grams of red and processed meat a day.

physicians monitored participants over a ten-year period
The French study on food and health covered the period from 2003 to 2013. About half of the participants in the study suffered from asthma. The remaining controls had no history of asthma. The experts looked at typical asthma symptoms such as shortness of breath and wheezing in connection with the consumption of cured meat.

Largest negative effects on consumers of four servings of meat per week
If people have been suffering from asthma before, increasing meat intake will worsen the symptoms of the lungs, say the experts. The greatest deterioration has been seen in humans consuming more than four servings of processed meat per week. This corresponds to about eight slices of ham or four sausages.

Many factors in a person's life affect the risk of asthma
The experts emphasize in their study that the study can not prove whether the cause of the deterioration is definitely due to the diet. There are also many other factors in a person's life that can lead to a worsening of the symptoms of asthma. The researchers tried to consider the most obvious factors, such as obesity, but the link between processed meat and worsening asthma persisted.

Proper Diet to Relieve Asthma Symptoms
Although certain foods may be the cause of allergies in some people, there is no specific nutritional advice on how to manage asthma symptoms, physicians explain. For most people with asthma, the advice for a healthy diet is similar to that of all other people. Those affected need to be mindful of a balanced diet that should include plenty of fresh and unprocessed foods, as well as low levels of sugar, salt and saturated fat, the researchers emphasize.(as)

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