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Nitrates may be an environmental trigger for Alzheimer’s, diabetes and Parkinson's Disease

A new study by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital have found a substantial link between increased levels of nitrates in our environment and food with increased deaths from diseases, including Alzheimer's, diabetes mellitus and Parkinson's.

Led by Dr Suzanne de la Monte of Rhode Island Hospital, researchers studied the trends in mortality rates due to diseases that are associated with aging, such as diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and cerebrovascular disease, as well as HIV. They found strong parallels between age adjusted increases in death rate from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and diabetes and the progressive increases in human exposure to nitrates, nitrites and nitrosamines through processed and preserved foods as well as fertilizers.

Other diseases including HIV-AIDS, cerebrovascular disease, and leukemia did not exhibit those trends. De la Monte proposes that the increase in exposure plays a critical role in the cause, development and effects of the pandemic of these insulin-resistant diseases.

De la Monte, who is also a professor of pathology and lab medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, says that we have moved to a diet that is rich in amines and nitrates, which lead to increased nitrosamine production. We receive increased exposure through the abundant use of nitrate-containing fertilizers for agriculture. Not only do we consume them in processed foods, but they get into our food supply by leeching from the soil and contaminating water supplies used for crop irrigation, food processing and drinking.

Nitrites and nitrates belong to a class of chemical compounds that have been found to be harmful to humans and animals. More than 90% of these compounds that have been tested have been determined to be carcinogenic in various organs. They are found in many food products, including fried bacon, cured meats and cheese products as well as beer and water. Exposure also occurs through manufacturing and processing of rubber and latex products, as well as fertilisers, pesticides and cosmetics.

Read more courtesy of Science Dail


De la Monte, Suzanne M., Alexander Neusner, Jennifer Chu and Margot Lawton. Epidemilogical Trends Strongly Suggest Exposures as Etiologic Agents in the Pathogenesis of Sporadic Alzheimer's Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, and Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis. Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 17:3 (July 2009) pp 519-529

 

Click here for more research reports

First Published in JUly 2009

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