Why You Don’t Eat Lots of Hot Dogs, According to Science – Enseñame de Ciencia

Why You Don’t Eat Lots of Hot Dogs, According to Science – Enseñame de Ciencia

Excessive consumption of sausages can be very dangerous for your health and the health of children, as these products contain preservatives such as nitrates and nitrates, which are dangerous chemicals, which can cause damage to your DNA and other components of your body. cells. Here we tell you how this phenomenon occurs.


They are processed foods derived from ground or minced meat, which may or may not contain seasonings to enhance their taste and contain preservatives for preservation. Some of these foods are ham, sausages, salami, mortadella, some types of chorizo, and more.

The regulated consumption of these foods should not present any problem to our body. However, if there is excessive consumption, we will be exposed to the by-products of preservatives, which can make us sick.

Preservatives in sausages

The main preservatives used to preserve sausages are nitrites and nitrates (sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate, potassium nitrate), which are special salts to prevent the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and also help by giving color to red meat to improve its appearance. In addition, they can improve properties such as flavor and aroma.

DNA damage mechanism

in study Published in IEEE xplore, the way DNA damage is generated, occurs as follows:

Chemical compounds called nitrosamines, have a structure of the type (R1N (-R2) -N = O), and are formed by chemical reactions between proteins or amines and nitrites (preservative agents). Under certain conditions, such as high temperatures or conditions that acidify the pH, nitrite can be converted into nitrous acid and into a molecule called nitrosonium. Nitrosonium is a molecule that reacts with dimethylamine to eventually generate a nitrosamine.

All types of sausage contain a high amount of amines, because their protein content is high, in addition to the abundance of nitrites and nitrates.

Molecules Nitrosamine And nitrosoureas damage DNA, because they affect the structure of one of its components, guanine. This causes the DNA to break and become unstable. The consequences are mutagenic and in some cases carcinogenic.

In addition, notroamines are capable of generating reactive oxygen species (ROS), which increase overall oxidative stress, cause lipid peroxidation, and exacerbate DNA damage.

Health risks

Excessive consumption of sausages in children can be very harmful, according to the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), sausages are classified in the group of “carcinogenic agents” because their consumption increases the chances of developing some types of cancer.

General recommendations

Moderation in eating sausage and its derivatives

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet

Consume foods that contain natural antioxidants.

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