Medicine

Eating salamis, hot dogs can lead to manic episodes

Eating salamis, hot dogs can lead to manic episodes

"While a beef-based diet with added sodium nitrate resulted in mania-like behavior compared to rats consuming beef-based diet without sodium nitrate, these changes did not appear to be as severe as those resulting from consumption of nitrate-processed cured meat itself, suggesting that another factor in nitrate-processed cured meat could interact with, or worsen, the effects of dietary nitrate alone", the team stated.

Reference Nitrated meat products are associated with mania in humans and altered behavior and brain gene expression in rats.

Genetic and other risk factors have been linked to manic episodes that characterise bipolar disorder.

The study, published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, found nitrates changed the gut bacteria of rats, which may be linked to mental health problems.

Manic states can lead to unsafe risk-taking behaviour and can include delusional thinking.

He is the Professor of Neurovirology in Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

"I think that for people with mania, and perhaps other disorders as well, there might be environmental triggers that you can control", he said.

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The previous data, collected from patients with a psychiatric disorder and individuals with no psychiatric disorder history, showed that the group hospitalized with a psychiatric disorder ate 3.5 times higher amounts of cured meat before hospitalization for mania, as opposed to the group that did not have a psychiatric disorder.

They usually contain nitrates, a group of chemicals used as a preservative to cure meats like jerky, meat sticks and hot dogs, and nitrates have also been linked to inflammation and unhealthy outcomes, including cancer and brain disorders.

It also increases the risk of hyperactivity and euphoria, experts have warned.

For the first study, the researchers didn't even intend to look at cured meats, said study co-author Faith Dickerson, director of the Stanley Research Program at Sheppard Pratt Health System. "It wasn't just that people with mania have an abnormal diet", said lead author Robert Yolken, Professor at the Johns Hopkins University in the US. When he fed rats either normal chow or chow supplemented with a piece of commercial beef jerky, the animals eating the jerky began to sleep irregularly and become hyperactive within two weeks.

So the researchers tried testing rats, feeding them beef jerky loaded with nitrates every other day. The results were repeated when regular rat food was dosed with nitrates equivalent to that a human would consume in a hot dog or beef jerky stick.

Recall that the nitrates used for meat processing.

When the group analyzed the gut bacteria of the different groups of rats, they found that animals with nitrate in their diet had different patterns of bacteria living in their intestines than the other rats. "Our results suggest that nitrated cured meat could be one environmental player in mediating mania". It was partly funded by the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health.


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