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Could Your Favorite Snack be Causing Manic Episodes?

Posted by on July 26th, 2018 Posted in: Consumer Health, Data, Research

hot dogs

Baseball season is in full swing and ballparks across the country are serving up a classic ballpark favorite – hot dogs.  In fact, it is estimated that baseball fans alone will con

sume nearly 19 million hot dogs in 2018.  Could they be getting more than they bargain for with this ballpark food choice?

A recent John Hopkins Medicine study collected data between 2007 and 2017 from 1,101 people with and without psychiatric disorders.   Their study found that those who had been hospitalized for mania were more than three times as likely to have had a history of eating cured meat as those without a psychiatric disorder.

Although hot dogs are nitrate-curated, they aren’t the only food item that falls into this category.  Beej jerky, salami, and other processed meats are also included.  Curating meats with nitrates is not a new process and neither are its associated health issues.  In the past, curated meats have been linked to colorectal cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

While the study did not address cause and effect, it could have an impact on future interventions, according to lead author Robert Yolken, M.D., the Theodore and Vada Stanley Distinguished Professor of Neurovirology in Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.  “Future work on this association could lead to dietary interventions to help reduce the risk of manic episodes in those who have bipolar disorder or who are otherwise vulnerable to mania.”

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