July 23, 2024

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Is Fish Sauce Strongly Linked With Gastric Cancer?

Is Fish Sauce Strongly Linked With Gastric Cancer?

Is Fish Sauce Strongly Linked With Gastric Cancer?

Fish sauce itself is not strongly linked with gastric (stomach) cancer.

While there have been concerns about the potential health risks associated with the consumption of certain fermented foods, including fish sauce, it’s important to clarify that these concerns are generally related to the formation of specific compounds during the fermentation process, rather than fish sauce itself.

Is Fish Sauce Strongly Linked With Gastric Cancer?

Some of the concerns associated with the consumption of certain fermented foods include:

Biogenic Amines:

During the fermentation process of fish sauce, biogenic amines can be produced.

Some studies have suggested that high levels of certain biogenic amines, such as histamine and tyramine, may be associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer.

However, it’s important to note that the levels of these compounds in properly processed and consumed fish sauce are generally not considered to be a significant cancer risk for the average person.

Salt Content:

Fish sauce is high in salt, and excessive salt intake has been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer.

High salt consumption can lead to irritation of the stomach lining, potentially increasing the risk of developing gastric cancer, especially in individuals with a high-salt diet over an extended period.


Some fermented foods, including fish sauce, may contain nitrosamines, which are compounds known to be carcinogenic. Nitrosamines can form under specific conditions, such as when nitrites or nitrates are present in the food. However, regulations and quality control measures have been implemented in many countries to minimize the presence of nitrosamines in food products.

It’s important to emphasize that the risk of gastric cancer is influenced by multiple factors, including diet, lifestyle, genetics, and overall health. While there may be concerns related to certain compounds in fermented foods, the overall risk of gastric cancer associated with consuming fish sauce or similar condiments is generally considered to be low and should be considered in the context of one’s entire diet and lifestyle.

To minimize potential risks associated with the consumption of fish sauce or other fermented foods, it’s advisable to consume them in moderation and maintain a balanced and diverse diet that includes a variety of foods. If you have specific health concerns or dietary restrictions, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or nutritionist for personalized guidance.

Long-term fish sauce intake may be linked with Gastric Cancer

According to a study Published online 2000 Oct 15. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v6.i5.671, there is a potential link between fish sauce consumption and gastric cancer, particularly in the high-risk area of Fujian Province, China.

The key findings and conclusions from the study are as follows:

  1. Positive Correlation: The study found a significant positive correlation between the consumption of fish sauce, especially uncooked fish sauce, and the mortality of gastric cancer. This suggests that there may be a relationship between long-term fish sauce intake and a higher risk of gastric cancer in the study area.

  2. Specific to Gastric Cancer: Importantly, this positive correlation was specific to gastric cancer and was not observed with other digestive tract cancers, such as esophagus cancer, liver cancer, and colon cancer. This specificity implies that the association may be unique to gastric cancer.

  3. N-Nitroso Compounds and Salt Content: Fish sauce is known to contain N-nitroso compounds, which have mutagenic and carcinogenic properties. The high salt content in fish sauce may also contribute to the risk of gastric cancer. Both factors could potentially explain the higher gastric cancer mortality observed in Fujian Province.

  4. Further Research Needed: While this ecological study provides valuable insights, it emphasizes the need for further research to confirm and better understand the relationship between fish sauce consumption and gastric cancer. Additional studies, especially those involving a more extensive and diverse population, are required to draw more definitive conclusions.

  5. Preventative Measures: The study suggests that preventive measures and educational efforts may be necessary in high-risk areas like Fujian Province to reduce the risk of gastric cancer. This could involve encouraging changes in dietary habits related to fish sauce consumption and promoting a more balanced and potentially lower-risk diet.

In summary, the study indicates that fish sauce consumption, particularly in high-risk areas, may be associated with a higher risk of gastric cancer.

However, more research is needed to establish a clear cause-and-effect relationship, and preventive measures are recommended to mitigate this potential risk.

Is Fish Sauce Strongly Linked With Gastric Cancer?

(source:internet, reference only)

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