Nitrate and Man: Toxic, Harmless or Beneficial?

Nitrate and Man: Toxic, Harmless or Beneficial?

by CABI, Jean L'Hirondel
     
 

Nitrate is ubiquitous. It is present in water, soil, plants and food, and is also a normal human metabolite. The main external sources of nitrate are vegetables and drinking water. This book examines the relationship between nitrates and human health.

During the last 50 years or so, nitrate has been feared as the source of the rare condition called

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Overview

Nitrate is ubiquitous. It is present in water, soil, plants and food, and is also a normal human metabolite. The main external sources of nitrate are vegetables and drinking water. This book examines the relationship between nitrates and human health.

During the last 50 years or so, nitrate has been feared as the source of the rare condition called methaemoglobinaemia, or “blue baby syndrome”, for young infants. Nitrate has also been implicated with causing cancer, through increased formation of carcinogenic compounds. Both claims are based on dubious evidence. This book sets out research results to disprove these assumptions, and goes on to explore the beneficial effects of nitrate in preventing infections, cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It is essential reading for researchers in medicine, and those in agriculture and food industries.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780851995663
Publisher:
CAB International North America
Publication date:
11/28/2001
Series:
Cabi Publishing Series
Pages:
184
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Foreword
Foreword for the English Edition
Acknowledgements
Introduction1
1The History of Nitrates in Medicine3
2Nitrate, the Nitrogen Cycle and the Fertility of Nature9
2.1The Nitrogen Cycle10
2.2The Increasing Fertility of Nature12
3The Metabolism of Nitrate16
3.1The Basic Features16
3.2The Two Sources of Nitrate: Dietary Intake and Endogenous Synthesis17
3.3The Metabolic Conversions of Nitrate in the Body and its Fate21
3.4Nitrate Secretion with Saliva and its Transformation to Nitrite in the Mouth23
3.5Nitrate and Nitrite in the Stomach26
3.6Nitrate Metabolism: a Summary27
4Nitrate in Body Fluids29
4.1Healthy Humans30
4.2Pathological Conditions32
5The Case Against Nitrate: a Critical Examination35
5.1The Risk of Methaemoglobinaemia in Infants35
5.2The Risk of Cancer54
5.3Other Grievances63
6Nitrate Regulations: Presentation and Discussion69
6.1Maximum Nitrate Levels in Drinking Water69
6.2Maximum Nitrate Levels in Food77
6.3The Acceptable Daily Intake and the Reference Dose for Nitrate in Man79
7The Beneficial Effects of Nitrate84
7.1The Anti-infective Effects of Nitrate84
7.2Nitrate, Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Diseases88
7.3Dietary Nitrate and Gastric Cancer90
7.4Other Beneficial Effects92
8Summary and Conclusions93
App. 1Conversion Factors and Tables95
App. 2Sources of Nitrate in Human Food99
App. 3Nitrate Kinetics in Healthy Adults after Oral Doses of Nitrate103
App. 4High Plasma Nitrate Levels in Various Diseases and Therapies107
App. 5Human Epidemiological Studies Performed to Evaluate the Effects of Nitrate Exposure on Cancer Incidence and Mortality111
App. 6Massive Intakes of Nitrite and Nitrate: Short-Term Effects on Health119
References125
Index163

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