Nitrite and nitrate are formed by endogenous synthesis in the human intestine

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Science  30 Jun 1978:
Vol. 200, Issue 4349, pp. 1487-1489
DOI: 10.1126/science.663630


Studies of nitrate balance in humans and analyses of fecal and ileostomy samples indicate that nitrite and nitrate are formed de novo in the intestine, possibly by heterotrophic nitrification. These findings significantly alter our previous conceptions of human exposure to nitrite and suggest an even wider role for nitrite in the etiology of human cancer.

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