Study links common food additives to Crohn’s disease

Photo credit:Reuters

The next time you purchase packaged bread, processed foods, ice cream, candy, cream cheese, salad dressing, mayonnaise or margarine, take a look at the ingredients on the label. These products may contain emulsifiers like polysorbate 80 or carboxymethyl cellulose, which are added not only to extend their shelf life, but to improve the texture.

A study led by Georgia State University researchers using mice found that these chemical additives affect bacteria in the gut and may lead to inflammation. That in turn can make mice, who are genetically at risk, more prone to develop inflammatory bowel disease as well as metabolic syndrome.

Benoit Chassoing, a microbiologist at Georgia State, believes what’s true for mice “may be observed in humans as well.” So the researchers will be following up with human studies to determine if the increased incidence of ulcertive colitis, Crohn’s disease and obesity related problems is linked to the increased use of emulsifiers by food companies.

Are you now more likely to buy products that don’t use chemical compounds like polysorbate 80 as emulsifiers?

Reuters, 2/25/15

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