Doctor: No Need To Panic; Moderation The Key

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — A new health study may have you rethinking what you eat for lunch. The report published in the journal “Cancer,” links some popular cold cuts with bladder cancer.

The deli counter is a carnivore’s delight, but it’s what’s lurking inside some of those delectable, spiced and cured meats that could be trouble, particularly the red meat cold cuts.

You cant see them but you can taste them. Nitrates and nitrites are added to the meat when it’s processed to enhance the color and the flavor.

Researchers found that people whose diets were high in nitrates from processed meats like cold cuts had a 28-29 percent greater chance of developing bladder cancer than those with lower nitrate levels.

“I think it’s an interesting long-term study,” urologist David Weiner told CBS 2’s Rob Morrison.

Weiner said he sees many studies, some more credible than others, but he said this one in particular caught his attention.

“The National Institute of Health supported this study. It had a large patient population which is something you look for in studies,” Dr. Weiner said.

In fact, 300,000 men and women from all over the country were followed for eight years.

But at the famed 2nd Avenue Deli, the startling new statistics weren’t cause for concern with the cold cut lovers we spoke to at dinner.

“I’m a Brooklyn boy. I’ve been eating deli my whole life. We’re here every Monday,” Steve Leibowitz said.

“The processing doesn’t bother me. I’m not a young man any more. I’m an old man and I’ve been eating it for many, many years,” Howard Schrier added.

So would the doctor recommend his patients steer clear of all red meat cold cuts?

“I don’t think I’d go that far at this point. I’d simply tell them to note that the study exists,” Dr. Weiner said.

And, he said, like other sinful pleasures, consume them in moderation.

The good news: researchers found no link between beef, bacon, hamburger or steak and bladder cancer.

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