Eating bacon may stop heart attacks

December 1, 2007 9:05:17 AM PST
Scientists say bacon is good for you and it can stop a heart attack. It's medical research you have never heard about before. Bacon can stop a heart attack! So says UT Researcher Nathan Bryan.

"You should not avoid eating bacon because of the nitrite content," said Dr. Bryan. "If anything it protects the heart during a heart attack."

Nitrites form nitric oxide gas can reopen blocked arteries. But don't nitrites and nitrates in bacon cause cancer? Dr. Bryan says the early research on that was wrong. He believes nitrites may do even more than protect, they may help in healing.

"Suppose they have a heart attack -- hopefully we can enhance recovery and limit the amount of injury," he said.

Dr. Bryan has found spinach and bacon have about the same amount of nitrates and nitrites.

Now, Nano-medicine. This is a nanochannel membrane that can be implanted in your body and slowly release medicine.

"Astronauts travelling to mars, it takes months for them to get there," said Dr. Bryan.

So, NASA is funding this research and so is the Army and then there is nanotechnology for cancer.

This is how chemotherapy works today -- scattered like shotgun pellets in the blood stream where doctors hope it hits the cancer.

This is the future as seen by Houston researchers. They're creating a nano-carrier that works like a little GPS. It carries chemotherapy or gene therapy and drops it directly at the tumor site with laser precision. More medicine hits the cancer and less is in the wrong place causing side effects.

"The objective is 1,000 times, perhaps 10,000 times less drug with the same effect, so you can increase the treatment without increasing the adverse side effects," said Dr. Mauro Ferrari with the UT NanoMedicine Center.

Here's something Dr. Bryan also discovered. His tests on nitrite free bacon showed it actually had more nitrites than some other bacon. He says that's because nitrites and nitrates are produced within our bodies, so it's naturally there. That goes for animals too.