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Common Food Additives May Cause Colon Cancer

Common Food Additives May Cause Colon Cancer

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By    |   Monday, 07 November 2016 12:11 PM

Common food additives called emulsifiers that are added to processed foods to extend shelf life and add texture may be a cause of colon cancer, according to a study published in the journal Cancer Research.

The study, which was conducted at Georgia State University, helps explain the connection between processed foods and colon cancer.

Researchers found that consuming dietary emulsifiers boosted the development of tumors in mice by altering the gut microbiota.


The microbiota is also a key factor in driving Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


IBD is known to promote the development of tumors in the colon, a process called colon tumorigenesis, which gave rise to the term "colitis-associated cancer."


Low-grade inflammation, a condition more prevalent than IBD, was shown to be linked to altered gut microbiota composition and metabolic disease, and it is seen in many cases of colorectal cancer.


The study suggests that dietary emulsifiers might be partially responsible for the link.


"The incidence of colorectal cancer has been markedly increasing since the mid-20th century," said Dr. Emilie Viennois, assistant professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences. "A key feature of this disease is the presence of an altered intestinal microbiota that creates a favorable niche for tumorigenesis."


Since human genetics have remained constant since the dramatic increase in the digestive diseases, the researchers suggest the main cause could be environmental.


The addition of emulsifiers to food seems to fit the time frame and had been shown to disrupt the guts' microbiota. The researchers hypothesized that emulsifiers might affect the microbiota in a way that promotes colorectal cancer. They designed experiments in mice to test their theory.


The researchers fed mice with two very commonly used emulsifiers, polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose, at doses approximating consumption of numerous emulsifiers that are incorporated into the majority of processed foods.


They found that the emulsifiers drastically changed the composition of the gut microbiota, creating more bad, pro-inflammatory bacteria which creates an environment favorable to the introduction and development of cancer


Emulsifiers are added to processed foods such as margarine, mayonnaise, ice cream, processed meats, creamy sauces, candy, bakery products, and many other packaged processed foods.

Examples of emulsifiers used in bread include diacetyl tartaric acid esters (E 472e) and sodium or calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate to strengthen bread, and dough softeners such as mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer, excluding skin cancer, diagnosed in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer deaths.

 

 

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Common food additives called emulsifiers that are added to processed foods to extend shelf life and add texture may be a cause of colon cancer, according to a study published in a the journal Cancer Research.The study, which was conducted at Georgia State University, helps...
common, food, additives, colon, cancer
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2016-11-07
Monday, 07 November 2016 12:11 PM
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