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Food-Info.net> Questions and Answers > Food Safety > Nitrates

Why does the human body produce nitrite?

The body generates nitrite through normal nitrogen metabolism in which nitric oxide is produced, then converted to nitrite or nitrate in order to be excreted. At normal levels, nitric oxide is a life-supporting biological messenger that helps heal wounds and burns, promotes blood clotting, controls blood pressure, enhances brain function, and boosts immunity to kill tumour cells and intracellular parasites. Scientific studies have shown that a wound in the process of healing contains a significant amount of nitric oxide.

Moreover, when nitrite is acidified in the stomach, it stimulates antimicrobial activity. Just as nitrite protects food against Clostridium botulinum, it may also protect the human stomach against other foodborne pathogens.

 

 

 



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