I often see mothers around me reposting articles like this, saying that there are more and more children with leukemia nowadays, and the culprit is often eating snacks and drinking drinks. The process of onset is that “the sweeteners in snacks or drinks will enter the bone marrow through the kidneys with water, accumulating inside like plastic bags, causing abnormal hematopoietic function and leading to leukemia in children
The analysis is reasonable and seems to make sense, causing panic among parents at one point. However, is this science or rumor? (Follow the WeChat subscription account: Duo Mama’s Parent-child Time to chat about parent-child parenting)
What factors can cause children to develop leukemia?
At present, the pathogenesis of childhood leukemia is not very clear, but it can be determined to be related to the following factors:
1. Chemical factors
Chemical factors are more common in inducing childhood leukemia, specifically manifested as:
▪ Long term exposure to certain chemicals
Long term exposure to heavy metals (such as mercury, lead, chromium, cobalt, cadmium), benzene and its derivatives, automotive exhaust, pesticides, formaldehyde coatings, etc. may induce leukemia.
▪ Food contains substances that inhibit “topoisomerase”
Topoisomerase can correct abnormal structures formed during DNA replication. If food contains substances that inhibit topoisomerase, it may increase the risk of infection in acute leukemia.
▪ ionizing radiation
Ionizing radiation is also one of the culprits for inducing leukemia. After the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during World War II, the incidence rate of leukemia among survivors rose sharply, which clearly proves this point.
2. Genetic factors
If a child has a genetic background in leukemia, they are more likely to be infected with leukemia than other children who grew up in the same environment.
Immunodeficiency is divided into two categories: primary and secondary, with the former mainly occurring in infants and children. If a child experiences recurrent infections after birth, they should go to the hospital to have their immune function checked to determine if they have immune deficiencies. Children with immune deficiencies are more likely to be infected with leukemia.
4. Viral infection
Some viruses may also become triggers for childhood leukemia, such as EB virus, hepatitis virus, human T-cell leukemia virus, etc. If these viruses stimulate the immune system for a long time, they may induce leukemia.
Eating snacks makes children more likely to develop leukemia
Taking into account the factors mentioned above, it is reasonable to say that ‘if children love snacks, they are more likely to develop leukemia’, but not all of them are correct. If children often eat snacks that contain the following substances, they should be careful:
▪ Containing benzene and its derivatives
If the oil used in the snack making process is repeatedly used under high temperature conditions, it may produce a highly carcinogenic substance that may induce leukemia – benzopyrene. If you want your child to stay away from these terrible diseases, you need to stay away from the smoked and fried snacks produced by illegal vendors.
▪ Heavy metals exceeding standards
In addition, some cheap bulk snacks, snacks that have not undergone food hygiene and safety testing, or informal and unhygienic street vendors’ snacks, during the processing and packaging process, are heavily contaminated with heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and chromium, which can also induce leukemia to some extent.
▪ Contains substances that inhibit “topoisomerase”
The caffeine contained in certain functional drinks can inhibit the “topoisomerase” in the human body, and long-term consumption in large quantities can indirectly induce leukemia. Therefore, adults should drink beverages containing “caffeine” less, and children should definitely not drink them. In addition, variant vegetables and fruits may also contain certain substances that inhibit “topoisomerase”, and it is recommended to eat less or no such vegetables and fruits. (Follow the WeChat subscription account: Duo Mama’s Parent-child Time to chat about parent-child parenting)
Generally speaking, as long as the snacks that children eat are clean and pass food hygiene and safety testing, they can be appropriately allowed to eat without blindly denying all snacks. What children really need to stay away from is the unhygienic and insecure food in the production process.