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Cancer warning: The healthy food that could ‘cause’ some types of cancer – expert insight

Stomach cancer: Surgeon explains the symptoms

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The connection between cancer and food is coming into sharper focus, helping millions stave off disease through dietary adjustments. Cancers that stem from a bad diet commonly affect the organs connected to the digestive tract. The main dietary culprits usually include processed and refined goods. Some other types of food may be equally detrimental to one’s health, according to Josie Porter, a dietitian at the Gut Health Clinic.

The Lancet Journal explains that fermented foods and beverages are produced via controlled microbial growth.

A plethora of foods, including cheese, wine, and cheese require this fermentation for their production.

While fermented products are widely touted for their health benefits, some of the ingredients used in the fermentation process may increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Epidemiological studies have shown that the risk of stomach cancer increases by nine percent for every 20 grams of salt-preserved vegetables eaten daily.

READ MORE: Cancer symptoms: The ‘persistent’ warning sign when waking up in the morning – pharmacist

The authors of a paper published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology in 2005, explained: “Salt or some chemicals contained in kimchi and soybean pastes, which are increased by fermentation, would play important roles in the carcinogenesis of stomach cancer.”

Consuming high quantities of sodium can be damaging to the body because of the irritation it causes to the lining of the stomach, making it more vulnerable to carcinogenic compounds.

What’s more, some studies have raised concerns over the compound ethyl carbamate, which is a by-product of the fermentation process.

Miss Porter explained: “Animal studies have found that this compound may be able to cause cancer, or what we could call carcinogenic.

“Carcinogens in food are not new. We have known about potential carcinogenic compounds in food for many years.

“Take for example processed meat. We have also associated cooking certain foods at high temperatures and certain cooking methods (such as frying and grilling) with cancer too.

“[But] more research is needed before we can confirm whether fermented foods are harmful to human health.”

Generally, it appears that moderate amounts of fermented foods may be additive to health, due to other nutrients they contain such as calcium and probiotics in kefir, or fibre and B vitamins found in bread.

“Aim to eat less of those greeted foods that are high in salt such as soy sauce, saturated fat and alcohol (for which EC content is much higher when compared to food),” added the dietitian.

She continued: “For added benefits, make sure to pair them with other nutritious foods that are also rich in antioxidants such as wholegrain, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices.”

What is stomach cancer?

By some estimates, stomach cancer is the second most common form of the disease in the world.

Dietary habits are significant in the development of the disease, and salted, smoked, pickled and foods rich in salt are all associated with an increased risk of cancer.

The NHS states that 7,000 people are diagnosed with stomach each year in the UK.

Unfortunately, many of these patients are diagnosed in the advanced stages of the condition, when it is too late to be cured.

Warning signs include feeling full after eating small amounts of food, experiencing unusual weight loss and difficulty swallowing.

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