Sun, Nov 26, 2017 - Page 9 News List

WHO lists Chinese-style salted fish as carcinogen
世衛將鹹魚列致癌物

Different types of salted fish are laid out at a market in an undated photo.
市場內的各種鹹魚,拍攝日期不詳。

Photo: Pixabay
照片:Pixabay

The WHO has recently issued a new list of carcinogenic food which categorizes Chinese-style salted fish as a Group 1 carcinogen, alongside tobacco, alcohol and betel nuts.

According to the head of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Toxicology Yen Tzung-hai, salted fish is preserved through salting and smoking, just like sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats, all of which are carcinogens. This is mainly because nitrite, a constituent common to them all, will form nitrosamine when in contact with high temperatures and when absorbed by the stomach and intestines.

However, Yen notes that the WHO report is only referring to salted fish to which nitrite has been added, that not all salted fish is carcinogenic, and that adding nitrite to food is legal. The cancer risks cited in the report are relative rather than absolute, and the risks can easily be reduced by eating less salted fish, so there is no need to be overly worried, Yen says.

Yen says that salted fish usually contains high levels of sodium, since large amounts of salt are often added, potentially increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases. People should avoid eating too much salted fish and when they do, it is advisable this is accompanied with fresh fruit and vegetables, especially those rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants, to prevent the formation of nitrosamine.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Tu Yu-an)

世界衛生組織最近公布新一波致癌物,其中,中式鹹魚與菸、酒與檳榔等同列為一級致癌物。

林口長庚醫院臨床毒物科主任顏宗海表示,鹹魚與香腸、火腿、培根等加工肉品同屬醃製食品,也皆為一級致癌物,主因是亞硝酸鹽碰到高溫會形成致癌物亞硝胺,進入人體內與腸胃道結合也會產生亞硝胺。

不過,顏宗海指出,世界衛生組織所指的不是所有鹹魚,而是製程中添加亞硝酸鹽的鹹魚。亞硝酸鹽是合法食品添加物,世界衛生組織提及的是相對風險,並非絕對,只要少吃即可降低罹癌風險,因此民眾不必過於擔心。

然而顏宗海也提醒,鹹魚通常添加不少鹽,屬於高鈉食物,可能提高心血管疾病的風險,應該少吃,同時最好搭配新鮮蔬果,尤其富含維生素C等抗氧化劑者可抑制亞硝胺形成。

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. carcinogen n.

致癌物質

(zhi4 ai2 wu4 zhu2)

2. processed adj.

加工的

(jia1 gong1 de5)

3. cardiovascular adj.

心血管的

(xin1 xie2 guan3 de5)

4. antioxidant n.

抗氧化劑

(kang4 yang3 hua4 ji4)


(自由時報記者林惠琴)

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