(NaturalNews) Health conscious individuals know that processed meats in the form of sausage, bologna and pepperoni contain chemical preservatives called nitrites that have been shown to promote cancer growth, and avoid these manufactured foods entirely. Unfortunately, millions of unsuspecting children and adults eat an estimated 50 pounds of processed meats each year, significantly raising the risk of many forms of cancer and bacterial infection as well.
Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have published the result of a study in mBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology that explains how antibiotic residues in uncured pepperoni or salami meat are potent enough to weaken helpful bacteria that processors add to acidify the sausage and make it safe for consumption. Processed meat manufacturers commonly infuse meats such as sausage with lactic-acid producing bacteria to control fermentation and increase acid content of the meat.
In an effort to control bacteria that may have existed in the original raw meat, manufacturers also kill any beneficial bacteria, allowing pathogenic bacteria strains to proliferate. Consumption of these processed meats can significantly increase the risk of bacterial infection, especially in the young and elderly populations, as well as those individuals with compromised immune systems.
Consumption of processed meats greatly increases risk of bacterial infection
The study authors commented "We can have a situation where residual antibiotics in the meat can prevent or reduce fermentation by the lactic acid bacteria, but these concentrations do not effect survival or even multiplication of pathogens." Antibiotics used to promote growth or to treat disease in livestock can eventually end up in processed meats and ultimately pass to humans where they wreak metabolic havoc and promote the overgrowth of bacterial strains in the digestive tract.
To validate their theory, researchers added two commonly used antibiotics to meat inoculated with lactic-acid-producing bacteria and several strains of pathogens frequently encountered in the unprocessed meat. They followed the progress of the fermentation and tracked the survival of the pathogens. The scientists determined that several different starter cultures of lactic-acid-producing bacteria were sensitive to these antibiotics and did not acidify the sausage meat effectively. They noted the results could explain why people sometimes get sick from eating fermented sausage.
The study team concluded their results show antibiotics can potentially have a "paradoxical effect that would increase the risk of food borne illness: antibiotic residues reduce the effectiveness of bacteria that should make the sausages safe but don't affect the bacteria that can cause illness." This research provides sufficient evidence that processed meats must be avoided entirely to avoid significantly increased risk of digestive cancers and bacterial infection.
About the author: John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.