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Carcinogens and Anticarcinogens in the Human Diet

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 20 July 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:176
  1. Sheila Bingham

    Committee on Comparative Toxicity of Naturally Occurring Carcinogens National Academy Press, £36.95, pp 417 ISBN 0 309 05391 9

    In our quest for essential nutrients, we are often unaware of the enormous numbers of other chemical constituents of food. In plants used for food alone at least 12 200 natural chemicals have been identified and the actual number is far greater. They include colours and flavours as insect attractants, and many are produced by the plant as defence against predators. Having limited excretory systems, plants accumulate variable amounts of these compounds, so that predicting human intake in epidemiological studies becomes a difficult exercise.

    Nevertheless, many …

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