Food and Chemical Toxicology 35 (1997) 179-182 T~
Information Section ABSTRACTS FROM THE LffERATURE These abstraxxsaretaken from a sectionofthe BIBRA Bulletin,a current-awarenessjournalcompiled by the Infornxation& Advisory SectionofBIBRA International.This unique monthJy digestof health and safety developments informs its readers of the toxicologicalissuesthat may affectproduct acceptabilityin chemical and nutritionalareas,new and proposed regulatoryactivitiesand current th;,k;,gon lhturelegislation,worldwide. The BIBRA Bulletinisavailableon subscription.Further information can be obtainedfrom the Information & Advisory Sectionat BIBRA International[tel. +44 (0)181-652I000;fax +44 (0)181-6617029].
Maternal dietary sodium nitrite intake and childhood brain tumours A US West Coast study, part of an international collaborative programme of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, has found an association between maternal consumption during pregnancy of meats cured with sodium nitrite and childhood brain tumours. [It is postulated that the presence of sodium nitrite and alkylamides may lead to the endogenous formation of genotoxic and carcinogenic nitrosanines and other N-nitroso compounds.] Information on food items related to the nitrosamine hypothesis was obtained from 540 mothers of children with brain tumours, and from 801 with healthy children. An increasing risk of childhood brain tumour was associated with average daily intake of cured meat (P - 0.0001), average daily intake of nitrite from cured meat (P < 0.0001) and t~Lefrequency of cured meat consumption during pregnancy. The duration and intake of vitamin supphments (containing vitamins C, E and A and folate) afforded some protection against tumour risk (Preston-Martin et aL, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention 1996, 5,
599). Fruit, salad and reduced mortality In 'health conscious' Britons, the daily consumption of fresh fruit was associated with reductions both in overall mortality (21%) and in deaths from heart or vascular diseases (24-32%). These were the mzin findings from a study which set out to examine the effect of a vegetarian diet or the daily consuraption of wholemeal bread on heart disease. Recruited through health food shops, magazines or vegetarian societies, a group of 4336 men and 6435 women have now been followed for around 17 year.;. Vegetarianism per se was not found to be beneficial in this study, indeed death from breast cancer was more common in this dietary group. "Daily raw salad" was associated with a 26% reduction in death from heart disease ~iiey et aL, British Medical Journal 1996, 313, 775).
Fish and cardiovascular disease A study carried out in Tanzania has shown that populations with a high intake of fish appear to have a more favourable profih of risk factors for cardiovascular disease than those living on a vegetarian diet. Blood pressure measurements were carried out in 618 residents of a lakeside village whose diet mainly consisted of fish 000-600 g/day) and 645 subjects from a hill settlement who ate a maize and rice-based diet. Plasma lipid determinations were carried out in 53 age- and sex-matched participants from each group. The incidences of hypertension and borderline hypertension were significantly lower (P< 0.0001) in the fish-eating population than the vegetarians, as were the plasma concentrations of total cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoprotein (a) (pauletto et aL, Lancet 1996, 348, 784).
Fatty acid intake and heart disease A study of patients at a London hospital has found an association between intakes of long-chain fatty acids and trans4atty acids and the progression of coronary artery disease (CAD). Nutrient intakes were assessed in 50 patients with heart disease and progression of CAD was followed over 39 months by measuring the minimum widths of coronary segments on angiography. Disease progression was found to be most strongly correlated with intakes of the saturated palmitic and stearic acids, the monounsaturated palmitoleic acid, and to elaidic acid, a C18 monounsaturated trans-fatty acid (Watts et aL, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1996, 64, 202).
Cow's milk and diabetes There has been some limited epidemiological support recently for the view that the early introduction of cow's milk in an infant's diet may increase the risks of a child developing insulindependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). A study of patients attending a diabetic clinic in Rome has led the investigators to claim that their findings give