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Mortality from different causes associated with meat, heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study: population based cohort study

BMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j1957 (Published 09 May 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1957

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Re: Mortality from different causes associated with meat, heme iron, nitrates, and nitrites in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study: population based cohort study

This study has a fatal flaw in that it does not take into account which participants were taking proton pump inhibitors during the study. Thus the study does not take into account the effect of widely varying amounts of acid used to digest the meats in the stomach and the widely varying digestion products passed on to the intestines. The enormous amounts of proton pump inhibitors being used may be the cause of the red meat results.

Such changed environments have too often been ignored in such studies. The substitution of hydrogenated vegetable oils for butter and lard during WWII, and continuing until this spring, for example.

Competing interests: No competing interests

16 May 2017
FLAVIUS E. DAVIS IV
RETIRED PHYSICIST
NONE
PO BOX 8206 STAMFORD CT. 06905