How is Kimchi or a high salt diet linked to cancer?  ZHION.COM
about kimchi
During the cold weather, cultivation was practically unavailable. Consequently, Korean developed a method to pickle
the vegatable - kimchi in 7th century.
[Introduction to Korean Food, Tour2Kore, April 22, 2005]

Koreans possess a passionate fondness for kimchi, serving this spicy fermented pickled vegetable dish at most
meals. Kimchi contains lots of vitamins, minerals and fibers. The major ingredient of kimchi is Chinese cabbage.
Other common ingredients include cucumber dill pickles and reddish. Kimchi ferments in vegetable's own juices.
Kimchi is usually prepared in large qualities and packed into huge jars and stored at low temperature. Most kimchi
preparations contain dried, ground or crushed hot pepper. By adjusting the amount of hot pepper or even adding
sweet paprika and cayenne, you can achieve the kimchi spiciness that you like.
[Korean Cabbage kimchi, m, April 22, 2005]

ISSUE-Red pepper/high salt diet associated with cancer.
Most people believe that kimchi is healthy, as kimchi contains lots of vitamins and anti-oxidants. However, as early
1985, Kim JP has noticed the correlation between red pepper/high salt diet and gastric carcinogenesis (i.e.
stomach cancer) in their animal study
[Co-carcinogenic effects of several Korean food on gastric cancer
induced by N-methyl-N'-nitrosoguanidine in rats. Jpn J Surg. 1985 Nov;15(6):427-37].

VERIFICATION-Kimchi associated with cancer?
In late 1990s, Ahn Yo from Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea, observed that stomach cancer
was the most prevalent malignant neoplasm in Korea. He noted an increased risk of stomach cancer was among
those who frequently had broiled meats and fishes, pickled vegetables, salted side dishes and salty stewed foods,
such as soybean paste thick stew as their meals. On the other heand, Dr. Ahn Yo reported that ginseng intake
could decrease the risk of gastric cancer in his review article.
[Diet and stomach cancer in Korea, Int J Cancer.
1997;Suppl 10:7-9]

Gomez SL et al, Northern California Cancer Center, CA, compared the rates of stomach cancers among Korean,
Korean American and Caucasian American. They found that the Korean in Korea have the highest rate for stomach
cancers and the Caucasian Americans have the lowest rate.
[Cancer Causes Control. 2003 Mar; 14 (2):167-74]

In 1990-1995, Lee JK et al at Hanyang University, Korea also investigated how the dietary factors in Korean food
related to Stomach cancer. They recruited 213 patients with stomach cancer and 213 subjects as controls. They
found that increased risk of stomach cancer was associated with consumption of stewed foods (such as soybean
paste stew and hot pepper-soybean stew, broiled fish) and salty foods (including pickled vegetables). They
concluded that heavy salt consumption and cooking methods like broiling and salting seem to play a major role in
gastric carcinogenesis among Koreans.
[Dietary factor and stomach cancer: a case study in Korea Int J
Epidemiol. 1995 Feb;24(1):33-41

In 2003, Lee SA et al from Seoul National University, Korea recruited 69 patients diagnosed with early gastric cancer
and 199 healthy subjects as controls. They assayed helicobacter pylori infection and interviewed the subjects on
dietary habits. They found  a high intake of salt-fermented fish and kimchi associated with an elevated risk of early
gastric cancer. Subjects with positive H. pylori infection and a high salty preference had a 10-fold higher risk of early
gastric cancer than subjects without H. pylori infection and with a low salty preference.
[Effect of diet and
Helicobacter pylori infection to the risk of early gastric cancer, J Epidemiol. 2003 May;13(3):162-8].

While Kim HJ et al from University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea concluded that that the risk of gastric cancer
decreased with high consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits, whereas high consumption of foods rich in nitrate
and carcinogenic substances produced during the cooking process increased the risk of gastric cancer from their
clinical studies
[Dietary factor and gastric cancer in Korea: a case-control study. Int J Cancer. 2002 Feb

INVESTIGATION-What chemicals?
Seel DJ et al, Presbyterian Medical Center, Korea,
analyzed two traditional and widely consumed home-prepared
food products, salted pickled cabbage (kimchi) and salted seafood sauce (chut-kal) (a) for nitrite, nitrate, total
secondary amines and pH in these food products prior to nitrite incubation and (b) for volatile nitrosamines and total
N-nitroso compounds before and after incubation with nitrite in simulated human stomach conditions.  They found
that the
nitrate levels were significantly higher in kimchi (median 1550 mg/kg) than in chut-kal (median 140
mg/kg) (P < 0.001).  After nitrosation, the demonstration of high levels of total N-nitroso compounds in kimchi and
the high volume of kimchi comsumption in Korea, Seel DJ believed that kimchi may play a role in gastric
carcinogenesis in Southwest Korea.,  
[N-nitroso compounds in two nitrosated food products in southwest
Korea. Food Chem Toxicol. 1994 Dec;32(12):1117-23

Kim YK et al, Seoul National University, Korea
, considered ethyl carbamate was associated with cancer and this
chemical was mainly found in fermented foods and beverages. They determined
ethyl carbamate concentrations
in some of the staple food items and estimated the daily intake for the Korean population to be 2.8 micrograms/day.
They considered the amount is not negligible. They suggested that it is necessary to reduce the daily intake of
these products
[ Determination of ethyl carbamate in some fermented Korean foods and beverages. Food
Addit Contam. 2000 Jun; 17 (6): 469
OTHER FINDINGS- Kimchi had anti-tumor agent
Park KY et al, Pusan National University, Korea, on the other hand, said that the Korean fermented vegetable food,
kimchi, has been demonstrated to have anticancer functional properties! They prepared
methanol extracts of
commercially grown baechu cabbage kimchi and organically grown baechu cabbage kimchi. They "identified" the
anticancer agent and it was beta-sitosterol.

Since, beta-sitosterol demonstrated anti-tumor properties in some other studies. Consequently, Park KY et al
mentioned that they had presented a convincing evidence for the "anti-cancer properties" of  kimchi in their article.
[J Med Food. 2003 Fall;6(3):151-6].
CONCLUSION Does kimchi cause cancer?
According to Seel and Kim groups' reports, the key issue is that the concentrations of nitrate/ethyl carbamate are
too high. Will their comments still be valid if we consume only a small amount of kimchi?
Korea FDA found 16 out of 502 domestic kimchi products containing roundworm eggs. The products are from
different companies. The parasite eggs are believed to have come from excrement of cats and dogs raised in the
farms. [Parasite eggs found in's Korean Kimchi products. Asia Pulse News, November 3, 2005 ]
Kisaengchunghak Chapchi Action of serveral chemicals on the parasites eggs and larvae in Korean
Pickle(Kimchi) 1966 Aug;4(1):47-51

Date: Fri, 06 Jan 2006 21:56:21 +0000

My ex-husband is a XXX and two of my brother-in-laws died of stomach cancer within 10 years of each other.  Now
that our son is in his 20's, I am very concerned that he does not have any issues with this.  It was a very difficult and
painful death for them, and I would not wish it on anyone.  Only by looking at these sorts of things can we start to
piece together the puzzle of cancer.  I always thought there must be a diet component.  The two surviving brothers
and one sister did not live as long in XXX, but left at earlier ages.  I wonder if that somehow made them likely to
suffer from this.  Thanks for adding this info to the internet!

From:  Barry XXX  URL =          HOST: 69.XXX.XX.XX             
DATE: 12-23-05

You're an idiot to publish this shit. The broiled meat might hold some weight, but cabbage? Come on.....The fat
XXXX shoving a XXXX in her face is the one you need to be worried about. Go back and re-study.

SEND YOUR COMMENT TO ZHION@ZHION.COM                                              

Kimchi and soybean
pastes are risk factors of
gastric cancer.

Researchers from Chungbuk
National University, Korea,
investigated the food intake
pattern and cytochrome profiles of
421 gastric cancer patients and
concluded that consumption of
kimchi and soybean pastes was
associated with increased risk of
gastric cancer.

Nan HM. et al. Chungbuk National
University, Korea, World J
Gastroenterol. 2005 Jun 7;
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