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Old 04-28-2011, 03:52 AM   #1
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Default Nitrates in Beer?

My wife was watching Dr. Oz and he had a couple guests talking about nitrates and how they can affect insulin the brain and be a contributor to getting Alzheimer's.

Huh?!?!? Nitrates in beer? They said they were in the older "processed" beer, and now most of the beer companies have "cleaned most of them up". Since there are no mandates on ingredients on beer, they don't need to say which ones have the nitrates.

Where would the nitrates come from? The only thing I can think of is smoked beer. Any ideas where the nitrates would come from?

If nothing else, it gives me more reasons to brew my own beer - I know there aren't nitrates are mine!

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Old 04-28-2011, 04:26 AM   #2
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not 100% sure, but i'm fairly certain there are no nitrates in beer.

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Old 04-28-2011, 04:29 AM   #3
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I wouldn't worry too much about what Dr. Oz says...

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Old 04-28-2011, 04:38 AM   #4
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If you're worried about toxins in your beer, cirrhosis seems more dangerous and likely. Nitrates might be in cheapo beer, to help the shelf-life. I'd be amazed if any craft brewers used them.

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Old 04-28-2011, 05:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredben View Post
I wouldn't worry too much about what Dr. Oz says...
That would be MY advice. I asked one of the docs here in the ER if they had ever heard of such -and the only question one asked me back was "where would they come from?" Besides, if there WERE any in beer, I expect the yeast would gobble 'em up for use in their metabolism. Only place I could imagine they might come from would be hops, but that seems a bit far fetched. Personally I think the guy is off his rocker or trying to create a little ratings for himself or something.
Unless you go putting fertilizer in your beer, I doubt that even the minute amount that would possibly be in there would be irrelevant anyway.
Heck, there are many other things that are going to have nitrates in them that you probably eat.

The benefits of beer FAR outweigh the negatives IMHO.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:31 AM   #6
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Sodium Nitrate is used as a preservative in certain foods. I see it most commonly in Deli meats or dry cured meats. It was probably used years ago (50-70 years?) before pasteurization and other sanitary industrial machinery because cheaper and more common. This is a total guess though since I don't particularly have any knowledge of how beer was 'manufactured' years ago. They probably added sodium nitrate to beer since it was a preservative in so many other foods at the time. I don't think it would be added to any beers today. If it were to be in any beer, it would probably be mass produced (Read: BMC) but its not needed due to pasteurization and canning. Actually, i bet some factory in China or Asia some where that probably still produces a cheap beer with Nitrates. In terms of carcinogens in beer, I think alcohol is the only one

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Old 04-28-2011, 11:41 AM   #7
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sounds reasonable to me.
And I don't drink Chinese beer because of the lead and mold contents -they provide way too many 'off-flavors' in the beer!

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Old 04-28-2011, 01:58 PM   #8
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Nitrates are a typical water contaminant in agricultural areas where animal waste and fertilizer by-products can infiltrate. The EPA limit for nitrates in drinking water is 10 ppm. Above that limit, infants drinking anything made with that water are at risk since their gut cannot metabolize the nitrate. For children and adults, there is less concern.

Making beer with source water with high nitrates will convey that into the finished product. RO systems will remove nitrate from the water.

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Old 04-28-2011, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredben View Post
I wouldn't worry too much about what Dr. Oz says...
Agreed. Dr. Oz is nothing but a TV doc that gets ratings by fear mongering.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:44 PM   #10
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The only show Dr. Oz belongs on is general hospital

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