Has anyone ever read any web sites on Nitrate toxicity in Livestock? Apparently it's a problem with the livestock industry. Cows, etc. are actually dieing from Nitrates in their hay. There's many sites on this topic. My question is if nitrates can kill a cow why are we eating cured meats that have the same thing. Nitrates change into Nitrites in cows:
Nitrite is one of the intermediate products in the breakdown of nitrate and is the cause of nitrate poisoning. Nitrates become a problem when enough methemoglobin is produced that the oxygen carrying capacity of blood is reduced to a critical level. If enough methemoglobin is produced (more than 80 percent of the total hemoglobin) the animal will die. I've heard for many years that Nitrites trigger headaches but this is the first I've heard about it killing cows. What is the real risk to humans?
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