Processed food additive tied to colitis, obesity
The emulsifiers used in many processed foods have been linked in a new study to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), obesity and diabetes.
An international team led by researchers at the Georgia State University Institute of Medical Science hypothesized that emulsifiers may be behind the inflammatory behavior of gut bacteria and sought to test this possibility. They fed mice two common emulsifiers at doses meant to mimic the average consumption of processed foods, and they noticed that the composition of the gut microbiota changed to become more inflammatory. Colitis was triggered by the consumption in mice that were more genetically prone to the disease. In mice with normal immune systems, researchers found there was mild intestinal inflammation, and also increased levels of food intake, obesity, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance.
The scientists concluded that emulsifiers may not only irritate the gut microbiota but that it may in fact induce overeating.
The study was published in the journal _Nature. _