Processed foods like margarine, bacon, granola bars, dried fruits, instant noodles and microwave popcorn may be convenient, but as you know, they're very bad for your health.
Not only do processed food pack large amounts of hidden fats, sodium and sugar, which are always bad news, a recent study published in the journal Cancer Research has even linked processed foods to colon cancer - a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.
Study finds that an additive used in most processed foods may be linked to colon cancer
According to the study, a type of additive known as emulsifiers, which is found in most processed foods, may be linked to colon cancer
Food manufacturers add emulsifiers to food to improve their texture and extend their shelf life, the study researchers from Georgia State University in Georgia in the USA explained.
To reach their findings, the researchers regularly gave mice two commonly used emulsifier – carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate 80.
They found that the regular consumption of this processed food additive led to changes in gut bacteria, which triggered inflammation and colon cancer
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Researchers note that a key feature of colon cancer is altered intestinal microbiota
Emily Viennois, an assistant professor at Georgia State’s Institute for Biomedical Sciences, reported in a university news release, “The incidence of colorectal cancer has been markedly increasing since the mid-20th century.”
“A key feature of this disease is the presence of an altered intestinal microbiota that creates a favourable niche for the production of tumours,” Viennois added.
In a previous study, this same team of researchers discovered that high consumption of emulsifiers leads to low-grade inflammation in the gut. Ben Chassaing, who was an assistant professor at the time of this study, shed some light on the finding, “The dramatic increase in these diseases has occurred amidst constant human genetics, suggesting a pivotal role for an environmental factor.”
Viennois noted that further research is needed before we can conclude that dietary emulsifiers can cause colon cancer, as animal studies sometimes aren’t replicated in humans.
That said, you should avoid eating processed foods anyway, as they’re brimming with artificial ingredients, contain little to no nutrients, loaded with trans fats and processed vegetable oils, and are very addictive!
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