Tags: artificial | butter | risk | alzheimer

Artificial Butter Linked to Alzheimer's

Friday, 03 Aug 2012 11:19 AM


A new study is raising concern about chronic exposure to an artificial butter flavoring ingredient used in some margarines, microwave popcorn, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods and other products.

The study, published in the American Chemical Society journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, has found the ingredient – diacetyl (DA) – intensifies the damaging effects of an abnormal brain protein linked to Alzheimer's disease.
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Past studies have linked DA to respiratory and other problems in workers at microwave popcorn and food-flavoring factories. The ingredient gives microwave popcorn its distinctive buttery taste and aroma. It also forms naturally in fermented beverages such as beer, and gives some chardonnay wines a buttery taste.
For the new study, Robert Vince and colleagues noted DA is structurally similar to a substance that makes beta-amyloid proteins clump together in the brain – a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. So they tested whether DA also could cause those proteins to aggregate.
The found DA did increase the level of beta-amyloid clumping and enhanced beta-amyloid's toxic effects on nerve cells, in the laboratory.
"In light of the chronic exposure of industry workers to DA, this study raises the troubling possibility of long-term neurological toxicity mediated by DA," said the researchers.
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An artificial butter ingredient used in some margarines, popcorn, and other products may pose health risks.
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2012-19-03
Friday, 03 Aug 2012 11:19 AM
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