Emulsifiers are food additives used to extend shelf life and create a better food texture. However, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Research, emulsifiers may be causing colon cancer and colorectal cancer.
The study was conducted at the Institute of Biomedical Science at Georgia State University. Researchers fed mice with polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose, which are the most common additives linked to metabolic disease and low-grade bowel inflammation. The doses were given in the proportions these emulsifiers — to human processed food.
The intestines were covered with a mucous structure to protect it from a variety of harmful bacteria. Though this, harmful bacteria were kept away from the epithelial cells that line the intestine. But the results of the study showed that emulsifiers appear to help transport bacteria across epithelial cells.
The composition of the gut microbiota was severely changing due to the presence of the emulsifiers. Due to this, inflammation increased resulting in the creation of an environment ideal for the development and proliferation of colon cancer and colorectal cancer. Alterations caused by emulsifiers enables the gut bacteria to display more flagellin and lipopolysaccharide, which are substances that activate pro-inflammatory gene expression in the immune system. Aside from this, emulsifiers were also found to promote tumor development as it changed the balance between cell proliferation and cell death.
When microbiota was transplanted from mice that consumed emulsifiers to germ-free mice, it was found that balances in the intestine’s epithelial cells were changed. These findings serve as additional support to the central role that the microbiota plays in tumor induction and development.
The results of this study support the notion that changing the composition of gut microbiota causes low-grade inflammation, thereby encourages the development of cancer.
Furthermore, Health hazards of eating processed foods as well as the importance of gut health and gut bacteria balance were also highlighted in the findings of the study.
Eat The Right Foods To Keep Your Gut Healthy
Your gut health influences the wellness of both the body and the brain, according to research. What you eat and drink will define your gut health. Studies showed that the food you eat sets which bacteria thrive in the gut. Vegetables, grains, and beans feed a positive gut environment. On the other hand, meat, junk food, dairy, and eggs feed a negative gut environment.
Probiotics and prebiotics are two gut-healthy compounds. Probiotics are good gut bacteria and prebiotics are food for these bacteria. Probiotics are found in fermented foods such as tempeh, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and miso. Meanwhile, prebiotics is found in certain vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Fiber is the best prebiotic of all. Microbes extract energy, nutrients, and vitamins from the fiber in order to reduce inflammation, boost immune function, and protect against obesity.
Fiber can be classified as soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber helps lower blood sugar levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. You can obtain it by eating legumes, oatmeal, and some fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, provides a cleansing effect on the digestive system. You can enjoy its benefits by eating food such as kidney beans, whole grains, and some fruits and vegetables.
Aside from these benefits, fiber also prevents digestive problems. One of these is diverticulitis, which is an inflammation of the intestine. Eating insoluble fiber-rich foods can help reduce the risk of diverticulitis by as much as 40 percent, according to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition.