January 02, 2009
Inorganic Phosphates Boost Lung Cancer?

Think processed foods are bad for you? Not sure why exactly? One possibility: inorganic phosphates in food might boost the growth of lung cancer.

New research in an animal model suggests that a diet high in inorganic phosphates, which are found in a variety of processed foods including meats, cheeses, beverages, and bakery products, might speed growth of lung cancer tumors and may even contribute to the development of those tumors in individuals predisposed to the disease.

The study also suggests that dietary regulation of inorganic phosphates may play an important role in lung cancer treatment. The research, using a mouse model, was conducted by Myung-Haing Cho, D.V.M., Ph.D., and his colleagues at Seoul National University, appears in the first issue for January of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, published by the American Thoracic Society.

"Our study indicates that increased intake of inorganic phosphates strongly stimulates lung cancer development in mice, and suggests that dietary regulation of inorganic phosphates may be critical for lung cancer treatment as well as prevention," said Dr. Cho.

Of course, if you are eating a diet high in vegetables and fruits and low in processed foods you do not need to know why exactly the processed foods are bad for you. Whether this study has identified a real reason to avoid processed foods or not we already know that drinking colas or other sodas isn't good for us and neither is eating processed cheese spread.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 January 02 09:04 PM  Aging Diet Cancer Studies

Vince said at January 3, 2009 10:28 PM:

How could Cheez Wizz be bad for you?


Lou Pagnucco said at January 4, 2009 8:24 AM:

I wonder whether the phosphorus is inorganic makes a difference.

Possibly relevant is that radioactive phosphorus administered as a cancer treatment strongly localizes to tumors.

Another reason for avoiding excess phosphorus is that it is associated with vascular and soft tissue calcification.
("High Phosphorus Linked To Coronary Calcification In Chronic Kidney Disease"
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/132572.php )

I also wonder whether high phosphorus fertilizers may result in vegetable produce that is unnaturally high in phosphorus content, based on the following excerpt:
"A final issue to raise is that the soil Pi concentration has often been ignored by plant physiologists. It is common to find experiments in which plants were grown in 1 mm Pi, which may be 100-fold higher than the Pi concentrations plants encounter in agricultural or natural ecosystems. To fully understand how plants acquire Pi from soils and regulate internal Pi concentrations, future studies on Pi uptake by plants must more closely mimic soil conditions, in which the concentration of Pi is always low and soil microflora influence both acquisition and mobilization. "
- from "Phosphorus Uptake by Plants: From Soil to Cell"
Does the Dept. of Agriculture continually test produce for mineral content?
How accurate are the nutrient/food charts?
European produce mineral content has changed dramatically in the last 25 years.

As a final note, it is common for nutritional supplements to use the highly bioavailable filler, dicalcium phosphate.

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