Could bacon sandwiches trigger asthma symptoms?

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They’re one of the joys of lazy weekend mornings for many. And, footballing superstar David Beckham has recently revealed they are his fool-proof hangover cure when he has over-indulged during the festive season.

However, recent research has now found that bacon sandwiches may be doing us more hard than originally thought. Consuming lots of cured and processed meats such as bacon and ham had already been linked to cancer.

And now scientists say that it could also aggravate asthma symptoms by as much as 76 per cent. Four or more weekly servings left sufferers at greates risk, according to the latest research, which has been published in the well respected journal Thorax.

Airway inflammation

It is thought that nitrites, found in red and processed meats, may lead to airway inflammation, a symptom of asthma. Researchers looked at information from the French Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma (EGEA), looking at surveys and medical exams of more than 2,000 asthma sufferers as well as a comparison group for more than two decades.

The research team looked at whether those who ate more processed meats had worsening asthma symptoms over the years. They found that of those who ate one or fewer servings per week, 14 per cent had worsening symptoms. For those eating one to four portions, the figure was 20 per cent and, for those eating four or more, it was 22 per cent.

After looking at other factors which may have had an influence, including smoking, the amount of exercise undertaken, sex and education, researchers determined that those who consumed the most processed meat per week were 76 per cent more likely to have worsening asthma symptoms than those who ate the least. It is the latest in a growing body of research about the ill effects of eating too much processed meat.


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