Effects of Microwave Oven on Health

Effects of Microwave Oven on Health

Effects of microwave oven on health

How often do you use a microwave oven to heat up your food? Hasn’t the wonderful gadget simplified the cooking process? Well, before you use the device again, think of the effects of microwave oven on health. True indeed, 90% of the American household use, this gadget extensively as kitchen hardware. The eastern countries have promptly followed the suit. Microwave oven has been in the trend for more than three decades now. It reduces the overall cooking cost and time, thus winning over millions of users over the years. Well, it’s time to look into the mechanism used in the gadget and assess the harmful effects that it renders to the food and its consumers.

What Does a Microwave Oven Do to the Food?

The adverse effects of microwave oven on health have their roots in the very mechanism used in the process. These gadgets utilize the heat produced by electronic waves to cook food. Microwaves and radio waves are quite similar, but these are much shorter than the latter. Now, when food is heated in a microwave, the electronic waves are selective in choosing the material. These primarily target the water molecules, besides other ones. These molecules are charged positively and negatively at the two ends. The charged molecules vibrate under the impact of microwaves and a thermal energy builds up inside them. This helps to heat up the food in a short time span.

Microwave Radiation Effects

The microwave radiation effect not only rob the food of the nutrients, but also leave a detrimental effect in the body. Consuming the dead food may deliver a good taste, but it does not have any nutritional value. Continuous exposure to the waves affects the food as well as the health of the people who consume them. The negative effects of microwave oven on health due to radiation can be summed up as follows:

Weakened Immunity

Food cooked in a microwave oven consists of certain by products. These cannot be metabolized in the body. As they cannot be broken down and simplified in the cells, they harm the body. The immune system gets weakened and the person becomes prone to various other diseases.

Brain Damage

Microwave radiation causes the electrical impulses of the brain to get shortened. Thus, a long-time exposure to these waves may cause serious damage to the brain.

Hormonal Disorders

The ill effects of microwave oven on health are evident in both males and females. They cause hormonal problems and the production of hormones in the body ceases due to prolonged exposure to microwave radiation.


One of the most adverse effects of microwaved food on health is cancer. There are certain minerals in the vegetables that you consume with your meals. When these are cooked in a microwave oven, the waves charge up minerals present in these vegetables. These, in turn, form cancerous radicals and harm the body. Cancerous tumours are also formed in the stomach and intestines. It directly affects the blood cells, causing cancer.

Emotional Imbalance

The mental powers are weakened by the consumption of microwaved food. The effects of microwave oven on health are evident from the loss of intelligence, inability to concentrate, loss of intelligence and memory. These deprive people of the free power of reasoning.


Consumption of microwaved food result in the decrement of haemoglobin content of the cells. Over a long period of time the ill-effects of depleted haemoglobin accumulate to cause anaemia.

Eye Defects

Eyes are delicate, and hence, more prone to the adverse effects of microwave oven on health. They have no blood vessels to vent the cellular stress and heat. Hence, they are badly affected due to the consumption of microwaved food. Cataracts are common in people who consume microwaved food over a long period of time.

Apart from these, other harmful effects of microwaved food include:

  • Birth defects
  • Reduction of white blood cells
  • Increased cholesterol levels
  • Bacterial infection
  • Elevated leukocytes, poisoning the cells

Effect of Microwave on Food

The food value gets killed by the radiation of microwaves from the oven, weakening the body system and causing several diseases. The effects of microwave oven on health arise from continual exposure of food to these waves. Here are some of the bad effects of microwaves on food.

Destruction of Breast Milk Antibodies:

Going by statistical figures, about 96% of the breast milk antibodies are destroyed by the harmful radiations. In fact, you must have heard that breast milk should never be heated. The radiations affect the milk and ultimately result in birth defects.

Structural Disintegration of Food:

Due to the deformation of cells as a result of the waves, the food molecules get structurally disintegrated. The adverse effects of microwave oven on health arise from this structurally disintegrated food.

Loss of Proteins:

The nucleo-proteins in meat are lost when they are heated in a micro-oven. Ultimately, it results in the nutritional loss of food.

Formation of Carcinogens:

The harmful radiations from the microwave ovens affect cereals and milk. The amino acids are converted to carcinogens and these are hazardous to the body.

Fibrous, ‘Dead Food’:

The food lacks the nutritional value and often turns tasteless. This is because the molecule of food, under pressure, undergoes structural decomposition. This snatches the nutritional value as well as the taste. The molecular and chemical bonds of food are broken down due to the radiation.

Evidently, the adverse effects of microwave oven on health are vast and varied. It is sad but true that most of the people are ignorant of the fact that these ovens are actually making the food-habits of people more mechanical. Hans Hertel, a Swiss scientist, conducted a study to prove that the nutritional values of food are lost when they are cooked over microwaves. Apart from the discussed adversities, the harmful radiations are potent enough to alter the heart rates of people, resulting in serious complexities and diseases. Although certain countries have banned these gadgets due to the negative effects of microwave oven on health, people still opt for a carefree life and embrace the long-term effects caused by the radiations.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad