Widely used food additives for the purpose of thickening and stabilizing processed foods can disrupt the gut’s bacterial make up, says studies. During the study, the mice consuming two chemicals mainly added to the foods had gained weight. Blood sugar levels altered and caused intestinal problems. These chemicals were the emulsifying agents, which hold together those mixtures which include water and fat.
Microbiologist Chassaing, the co-author of this study pointed out that these chemicals triggered metabolic syndrome and lower grade of inflammation in mice. Food additives might have harmed mice through the promotion of the development of bacteria which eats through the gut’s protective lining of mucus, revealed the study. Emulsifying agents are those chemicals which thickens the food. For example, emulsifiers keep the ice cream creamy after undergoing few cycles of thawing and freezing. According to immunologist Jobin, to develop a product which gels and also liquefies together, these compounds should be added.
Previous studies among mice showed that food addictive carboxymethylcellulose altered bacterial community composition lined up in the gut. Chassaing along with colleagues fed a diet consisting of either a percentage of carboxymethylcellulose or polysorbate 80. The latter is a common emulsifier which is found in several foods, specially processed foods which are against weight loss. The healthier mice started consuming more and gained weight suffering problems in blood sugar control in comparison to control mice. Such symptoms hold significance to observe for in humans, these are involved with metabolic syndrome which isn’t a healthy state. The researchers observed the gut tissue of mice in a microscopic view and saw extra signs of the low grade inflammation.
Food additives were fed to mice that are genetically inclined to catch diseases like colitis and inflammatory bowel. Emulsifiers seemingly worsened this disease in these mice. Researchers also observed the protective mucus layer lining in the gut to the reason behind food additives causing lower grade of inflammation. According to their findings, emulsifiers contributed bacterial growth living deep inside the mucus layer nearer to intestinal tissue. Food additives promoted the development of bacteria which may digest the mucous.
The aforementioned discoveries feature in the school of thought which says that bacteria inside a human body has a crucial role in maintaining health and weight loss, believe researchers. According to Jobin’s observation, mice consume a diet which is different than humans and repeating such a study among animals like pigs might be extra informative.
A suitable experiment would involve comparison among people consuming foods which contain and doesn’t contain such agents, expressed Jobin. However, Chassaing says that people with a desire to stay away from such foods should have more fresh foods and whole foods. The packaged foods are rich in emulsifiers which is not the case with freshly cooked food items. As a result, this is the right way to avoid such agents. The research group has begun a testing with people and members are following suit to find out about natural emulsifying agents like guar gum and soy lecithin, reveals Chassaing.
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