A new study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine and recently published in scientific journal Molecular Psychiatry found that consuming processed meat is associated with the onset of manic episodes—characterized by insomnia and hyperactivity, a condition commonly experienced by those with bipolar disorder. Researchers studied the health records of 1,000 individuals between the ages of 18 and 65. The group included those with psychiatric conditions from Sheppard Pratt Health System in Baltimore as well as volunteers with no medically diagnosed mental health disorders. Researchers found that the group that was hospitalized for manic episodes was 3.5 times more likely to have ingested processed meat than the volunteer group. “It’s clear that mania is a complex neuropsychiatric state, and that both genetic vulnerabilities and environmental factors are likely involved in the emergence and severity of bipolar disorder and associated manic episodes,” study co-author Seva Khambadkone said. “Our results suggest that nitrated cured meat could be one environmental player in mediating mania.”

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