Do Fermented Foods Cause Cancer?
Published September 30th, 2019
One of the oldest methods you can preserve your food is through fermentation. Our ancestors had been using this technique back in the day when refrigerators were not even a thing yet. But fermentation remains popular up to this day because of the health benefits that it can give.
However, some claim that fermented foods might cause cancer. So, do they? Well, it depends.
Fermentation vs. Pickling
We often confuse pickling with fermenting. But it’s important to differentiate both processes to know which one causes cancer.
Both fermenting and pickling are food preservation processes. However, each produces different results.
The pickling method uses heat and acidic solutions such as vinegar to preserve food. This process inhibits bacterial growth that prevents food spoilage.
On the other hand, the fermentation method uses brine and doesn’t need heat to preserve food. It’s a natural process that allows good microbes to grow and convert the carbs into natural acid. The acid then acts as a natural preservative and gives a tangy taste to the fermented foods.
So, Which One Causes Cancer?
H. pylori infection is one of the significant risk factors that cause gastric cancer. According to some studies, probiotics have an inhibitory effect against this particular bacteria.
Another study shows that probiotics found in fermented dairy products reduce the risk of having cancer, particularly bladder and colorectal cancer. (Related: Health Benefits of Probiotics)
On the contrary, pickling foods doesn’t help in lowering your chances of getting cancer. As mentioned, pickled foods use vinegar to preserve food. Some say that vinegar can reduce the cancer-fighting effects found in vegetables.
Most research studies show that probiotics can decrease your risk of having cancer. To answer your question, fermented foods don’t cause cancer. In fact, it helps you to avoid having one.
As of now, there have been no studies yet about the increased risk of having cancer from eating pickled foods. But since it inhibits the growth of bacteria, you can’t get probiotics from it.
Aside from the fact that fermented foods don’t cause cancer, it’s also better to eat fermented foods than pickled foods. Besides, fermented foods offer a lot of health benefits that pickled foods cannot give.
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About The Author
As a nurse, Franchette Agatha Jardin wants to spread to the world the ways on how to achieve a healthy body through probiotics. If she recommends something-or anything!-it’s because she already tried it!