Food chemicals may pose human health at a greater risk of Cancer
Ravi Shanker Verma
Eating good and healthy food reduces the risk of several diseases and also maintains energy level in the body. Not only this, but, the bioactive components of food have also been used in the treatment of various diseases as nutraceuticals. But, what if the same so called ‘healthy food’ increases the risk of life threatening illnesses? There are certain chemicals which are being added in food to increase its shelf life, to enhance the taste/flavour or for the economical benefits. Chemicals added in food, in order to increase its storage time, are called preservatives while additives are the chemicals which are added to enhance its taste or flavour. However, some poor quality substances, known as adulterants, are added to increase the food volume/weight and to fulfil the food demand. These chemicals are also added to attract the customer and to sell the food items at comparatively lower rates.
Of note, the consumption of such food items may severely affect human body leading to the induction of fatal diseases like cancer and organ failure. It has been reported in several studies that some chemical compounds, which are found in food adulterants and preservatives, may increase the risk of cancer. Some of those cancer causing agents are malachite green, copper sulphate, rhodamine B, red lead (accentuate the colour and freshness of fruits and veggies); pesticide residues and yellow aniline dye (added in turmeric); metanil yellow (added in sweets, juices and jam); nitrates/nitrites and BHA i.e. butylated hydroxyanisole (food preservatives), etc. Nowadays, it seems difficult to completely avoid these toxic food chemicals; however, consumption of organically grown food, practicing yoga/exercise, cutting down the usage of packaged and junk food material, properly washing fruits and vegetables in running water are some health tips which may reduce the risk of cancer at a high rate.
DR. Suroor Fatima
P. Hd on Lung Cancer