News Flash: Processed Foods are Not Good for You :-)

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, looked at how food preservatives affect the microbiota.[i]  Using a mouse model, over the course of 15 weeks, they noticed that a particular preservative they tested, “…temporarily perturbed the diversity of microbes in the mouse gut, but this change was transient…”    By week 5, there were statistically significant alterations which resolve around week 9.  However, the lead researcher concludes, “We do not know enough about what preservatives do to the microbiomes in the gut.”

Ordinarily, this article would not have particularlyl jumped out at me except that I remembered reading awhile back that emulsifiers, which are also a common food additive, also cause microbiome disruption and intestinal inflammation.  I did a quick search to find the article I’d read on it and yes, it dates back to 2015.  “Emulsifiers, which are added to most processed foods to aid texture and extend shelf life, can alter the gut microbiota composition and localization to induce intestinal inflammation that promotes the development of inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome.”[ii]  According to that research, emulsifiers (which are added to all processed food) altered the microbiota in such a way as to make it more pro-inflammatory, and able to digest and infiltrate the mucus lining of the gut.  In mice genetically prone to IBD, this caused severe colitis.  In mice with normal immune systems, it still caused low grade intestinal inflammation and metabolic syndrome.

This research team “…notes that the results of their study suggest that current means of testing and approving food additives may not be adequate to prevent use of chemicals that promote diseases driven by low-grade inflammation and/or which will cause disease primarily in susceptible hosts.”

Ya think?

A good New Year’s resolution:  eat a whole foods diet!




2 Comments on “News Flash: Processed Foods are Not Good for You :-)

  1. No sh*t!

    What makes me sad is how long it took me to wake up to all of this. I called my son last year, he’s 25 now, and I apologized to him for all the processed food and fast food I gave him! He laughed and said all his friends ate like that when they were kids. Too late to undo but I try to make him aware so he can choose for himself.

    Anyway, thanks for your good work, I appreciate it! Also I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year and every day best time you can enjoy!

    Laura Montoya Sent from my iPhone


  2. Hi Laura. Sure you could have done better but on the other hand…Take margarine, for example. When I was little, even doctors told my mother that it was healthier than butter so good mom that she is, that’s what she bought. She was also told by doctors that breast feeding was “dirty” and formula was better. We have all been subjected to false advertising, crap science and poor advice. (Think about it1 For Pete’s sake, doctors used to tell people to smoke for their health!) Stop blaming yourself! As long as you (and the rest of us) do better going forward….

    Happy holidays and New Year to you and your family as well!

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