Seriousness of Asthma Increases With Ham And Sausage Consumption
January 11, 2017
International studies have shown that there is a link between sausage and ham consumption and worsening cases of asthma as well as its accompanying symptoms. The study, which took place in France, spanned seven years and included nearly one thousand people. While previous information appeared to indicate that a higher body mass index (BMI) contributed to worsening asthma symptoms, these new results show that they count for much less of the effect (<14%) than previously believed. In fact, new information is showing that the link between cured meat consumption and asthma symptoms is a highly influential one.
Cured meats, like sausage, ham and salami pose other risks to a person’s overall health as well. The risk factors include type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also classified these meats as carcinogenic, meaning having the ability to actively cause cancer. The WHO’s classification pertains to ham, sausage, salami, canned meats, meat sauces, corned beef and others. Essentially, it encompasses any and all processed meats.
There are many substances that have been classified as carcinogenic. Substances like pesticides, tobacco and arsenic are other examples of this. The link between processed or cured meats and cancer has been heavily supported in studies that have been conducted on lab animals. In addition to those studies, one conducted by the International Agency of World Research Into Cancer (IARC) did find sufficient evidence in roughly 800 human cases of colorectal cancers and processed meat consumption.
The French study evaluated the effects of ham, sausage and salami consumption on men and women, 42% of which had asthma. Participants had to answer weekly if they had eaten a low, medium or high amount of the cured meats. A low amount was considered to be one or less weekly servings, medium to be one to four servings, and high as anything more than four weekly servings. The asthma symptoms that the study assessed, like chest tightness, shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing were then rated on a scale of one to five in terms of severity by participants.
Out of all the participants, 20% reported an increase in asthma symptoms when they ate larger amounts of cured meats. The group of participants effected the most with worsening symptoms were the ones who ingested more than four servings of cured meats per week. One of the study’s authors concluded the findings with hope and encouragement for public health initiatives to take place surrounding the problematic nature and risk factors of cured meat consumption. With their recent classification as carcinogenic by the WHO, the link to worsening asthma as well as other chronic health conditions and diseases, a reduction in ham, sausage and salami intake could have positive affects on the health of men, women and children worldwide.
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