Can Hot Dogs Cause Genetic Mutations?

Everyone knows hot dogs aren't exactly healthy for you - but scientists discovered that hot dogs may actually cause genetic mutations:

Scientists note there is an up to 240-fold variation in levels of these chemicals across different brands. ...

Mirvish and his colleagues examined hot dogs because past research had linked them with colon cancer. Hot dogs are preserved with sodium nitrite, which can help form chemicals known as N-nitroso compounds, most of which cause cancer in lab animals.

Extracts from hot dogs bought from the supermarket, when mixed with nitrites, resulted in what appeared to be these DNA-mutating compounds. When added to Salmonella bacteria, hot dog extracts treated with nitrites doubled to quadrupled their normal DNA mutation levels. Triggering DNA mutations in the gut might boost the risk for colon cancer, the researchers explained.

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