A popular food additive disturbs the intestinal environment

This finding clearly underlines the need to reconsider the safety of this substance.

Tests he led an inter-university team composed of scientists from the Georgia State University (USA) Institute of Biomedical Sciences, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), the University of Pennsylvania (USA), Penn State University (USA) and the Max Planck Institute (Germany).

Carboxymethyl Cellulose (CMC) is a synthetic compound belongs to the group of emulsifiers – commonly used food additives improving the texture of products and increasing their shelf life. CMC has never been extensively tested in humans, although it has been increasingly used in processed foods since the 1960s. At all times, it was assumed that the substance was safe for health because it wasit is completely expelled with feces – not absorbed.

However, due to the fact that for several years the scientific community has been increasingly emphasizing the importance of intestinal bacteria for our health, and it is known that non-absorbable food additives can interact with them in various ways, it was decided to revise the safety and health neutrality of carboxymethylcellulose.

Experiments in mice showed that CMC and some other emulsifiers changed the gut bacteria, causing inflammation and disease including colitis, metabolic syndrome and colon cancer. However, the effects of CMC on humans have not been studied before.

Only now have scientists conducted a randomized study on healthy volunteers. They stayed at the research facility the entire time, receiving either a diet without any artificial additives or an identical diet supplemented with carboxymethylcellulose. However, because the diseases that CMC promoted in mice took years to develop in humans, researchers instead focused on the gut bacteria themselves and their metabolites.

They found that consumption of CMC changed the composition of bacteria inhabiting the colon, reducing some species to very low levels. Moreover, stool samples from participants consuming carboxymethylcellulose showed a significant depletion of beneficial metabolites that are believed to keep the colon healthy.

At the beginning and after the end of the experiment, all participants had a colonoscopy. It was noted that the CMC-consuming group was characterized by intestinal bacterial penetration into the mucus, a hallmark of IBD and type 2 diabetes. So although consumption of CMC did not cause any disease per se in this two-week study, the results support the animal study findings. that long-term consumption of this supplement may promote chronic inflammatory diseases.

“Therefore, further research on this substance and its health safety are warranted” – emphasize the authors of the publication.

“Our experiment certainly refutes the argument that if something does come out, it is safe for us and does not need to be tested,” they conclude. on people “.

About Peter Wilson

In love with technology, with an eye towards smartphones, he does not disdain any activity linked to the Nerd world. TV series, movies, manga, anime, and comics (Marvel addicted) are the order of the day.

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