The study revealed that the chances of worsening asthma symptoms increase by 76%. Source: The Conversation

According to a recent French study issued by an international journal Thorax, consuming four servings of processed meat per week might cause deterioration in asthma symptoms.

“Regularly indulging in a bacon sandwich doubles the risk of an asthma attack,” experts have warned. The research workers suspect it could be a food additive called nitrite used in meats such as ham, sausages, and salami that exasperate the respiratory tract.

But the researchers also say that the relationship between the two has not been confirmed, and more investigations are required. Cured meat has already been tied-up with cancer.

Experimenters from reputed institutes and universities including Clinique Universitaire de Pneumologie in France, Instituto Nacional De Salud Publica in Mexico, Harvard Medical School in the US, Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale, and the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre and Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Spain contributed to this research.

The study revealed that the chances of worsening asthma symptoms increase by 76% but it does not necessarily lead to an asthma attack. This study was conducted on around 2,000 people, out of which 40% were found to be suffering from asthma at the start of the research.

The study was based on various factors like BMI, diet patterns, age, sex, physical activity.  ”BMI mediated this effect, so 14% of the increased risk from cured meat could be explained by the link between a high cured meat consumption and high body mass index” the researchers said.

They say, “While the indirect effect mediated through BMI accounted for only 14% of this association, the direct effect explained a greater proportion, suggesting a deleterious role of cured meat independent of BMI.” This study will be helpful in understanding the harmful effects of processed meat on our health.

The researchers also claim that they aren’t sure about the type of meat consumed in France will have the same effect as that of the type of meat consumed in the UK. The experts thus recommend a balanced diet which includes sufficient amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, and pulses. The food should be deprived of a lot of salt, sugar, or saturated fat.


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