Are Two Common Food Emulsifiers Screwing up Your Gut


Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
The question is whether these emulsifiers are actually transporting gut bacteria past the gut wall - causing inflammation, obesity, metabolic syndrome and even possibly colon cancer.

Previous studies have hypothesized that since the mid-20th century, dietary emulsifiers might have been responsible for IBD.

Research by the team at Georgia State University research labs showed that low concentrations of two common emulsifiers - carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 - induced low-grade inflammation and obesity/metabolic syndrome in mice.

Normally the intestine is protected from a variety of harmful bacteria via the mucus structures that cover the intestines, keeping the harmful bacteria away from the epithelial cells that line the intestine.

But emulsifiers seem to help transport bacteria across epithelial cells (!) (WHO KNEW?)

Emulsifiers are detergent-like molecules added to modern processed food, and they are used to help water and oil mix, giving processed food a smooth texture.

I don't think I take these in much as I think they're more common in processed food. Check out what they did in mice. De Meirlier believes LPS is increased in ME/CFS.

The researchers found that an intake of emulsifiers severely alters the composition of the gut microbiota, and it does so in a way that promotes inflammation and creates an environment favorable for the development of cancer.

After suffering emulsifier-induced alterations, the bacteria in the gut displayed more flagellin and lipopolysaccharide. These two substances activate pro-inflammatory gene expression in the immune system.

Not only did emulsifiers alter the microbiotic environment in a way that is pro-inflammatory, but it also changed the balance between cell proliferation and cell death, which enhances tumor development.

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