Diet: Common Food Additive May Alter Gut Bacteria.
Common processed food ingredients called emulsifiers (which are used to improve the texture of food and extend shelf life) may increase an individual’s risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and metabolic syndrome. In an animal-based study, investigators found that emulsifiers altered the make-up of bacteria populations in the digestive tracts of subjects leading to inflammation that may contribute to IBD and metabolic syndrome. Study co-leader Dr. Andrew Gewirtz adds, “A key feature of these modern plagues is alteration of the gut microbiota in a manner that promotes inflammation.” Further research is now needed to determine if emulsifiers affect humans in the same manner. Nature, February 2015