Document Detail

Nutritional epidemiology in the context of nitric oxide biology: a risk-benefit evaluation for dietary nitrite and nitrate.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19748594     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The discovery of the nitric oxide (NO) pathway in the 1980s represented a critical advance in understanding cardiovascular disease, and today a number of human diseases are characterized by NO insufficiency. In the interim, recent biomedical research has demonstrated that NO can be modulated by the diet independent of its enzymatic synthesis from l-arginine, e.g., the consumption of nitrite- and nitrate-rich foods such as fruits, leafy vegetables, and cured meats along with antioxidants. Regular intake of nitrate-containing food such as green leafy vegetables may ensure that blood and tissue levels of nitrite and NO pools are maintained at a level sufficient to compensate for any disturbances in endogenous NO synthesis. However, some in the public perceive that dietary sources of nitrite and nitrate are harmful, and some epidemiological studies reveal a weak association between foods that contain nitrite and nitrate, namely cured and processed meats, and cancer. This paradigm needs revisiting in the face of undisputed health benefits of nitrite- and nitrate-enriched diets. This review will address and interpret the epidemiological data and discuss the risk-benefit evaluation of dietary nitrite and nitrate in the context of nitric oxide biology. The weak and inconclusive data on the cancer risk of nitrite, nitrate and processed meats are far outweighed by the health benefits of restoring NO homeostasis via dietary nitrite and nitrate. This risk/benefit balance should be a strong consideration before there are any suggestions for new regulatory or public health guidelines for dietary nitrite and nitrate exposures.
Andrew Milkowski; Harsha K Garg; James R Coughlin; Nathan S Bryan
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review     Date:  2009-09-11
Journal Detail:
Title:  Nitric oxide : biology and chemistry / official journal of the Nitric Oxide Society     Volume:  22     ISSN:  1089-8611     ISO Abbreviation:  Nitric Oxide     Publication Date:  2010 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-02-09     Completed Date:  2010-04-26     Revised Date:  2010-07-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9709307     Medline TA:  Nitric Oxide     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  110-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
(c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Muscle Biology Laboratory, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cardiovascular Diseases / drug therapy,  epidemiology*,  metabolism
Neoplasms / drug therapy,  epidemiology*,  metabolism
Nitrates / administration & dosage*
Nitric Oxide / metabolism*
Nitrites / administration & dosage*
Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
Risk Factors
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Nitrates; 0/Nitrites; 10102-43-9/Nitric Oxide
Comment In:
Nitric Oxide. 2010 Sep 15;23(2):150-1   [PMID:  20452451 ]

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