In my last post, I talked about intestinal inflammation caused by TNF. Now, another research study has proposed that inflammation is also caused by food additives, such as emulsifiers that alter the intestinal environment (microbiome). Emulsifiers, according to Encyclopedia Britannica are “any of numerous chemical additives that encourage the suspension of one liquid in another… they prevent separation of ingredients and extend storage life.” Yes, they extend the shelf life of many processed foods, could be a source of intestinal inflammation and a source of metabolic syndrome that includes heart and liver problems.

Mice helped researchers from Georgia State, Emory, Cornell, and Bar-Ilan Universities look at the effect of Polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose on the delicate balance of bacteria in the intestines. Because foods are critical in how the gut functions, they can also change the environment to become inflammatory. In the mice, the emulsifiers altered the microbiome enough that cells started to digest the protective mucus lining of the intestine.

Thanks to the information shared by the mice, there may be a better way to treat inflammation in the gut!!


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