The conditions leading to a colorectal cancer diagnosis have remained steadfast for many years – they’re inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcerative colitis. They are all contributing factors that increase a person’s risk of contracting colon cancer.
A new scientific review of existing research indicates that the disruption of vital microbiota in the gut can lead to low-grade inflammation – which is another precursor to colon cancer.
As is commonly known, a healthy gut environment is necessary for optimal health. The vast quantities of microbacteria that co-exist in our guts are hugely important. In fact, it’s the hundreds of millions of strains that can impact many other non-GI related health concerns, including rheumatoid arthritis, insulin resistance and fatigue.
This latest review puts forth a common culprit for poor gut health: dietary emulsifiers. Research conducted by Georgia State University was published in Nature journal that reveals that low amounts of two very common emulsifers – carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 – caused low-grade inflammation and obesity syndrome in mice.
How do these emulsifiers cause damage to the gut? Emulsifiers are added to many modern foods, typically, highly processed goods that require water and oil to be bound together to create a smoother texture.
The intestine is normally immune to damage from bad bacteria due to a protective mucus lining the walls. However, these emulsifiers are able to carry harmful strains of bacteria easily to those walls. This is what causes inflammation.
Georgia State University researchers added quantities of the two emulsifiers in the same proportions that would be found in human food. The results showed an increase in inflammation and also greater cell death, which both increase the likelihood of tumor formation.
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are stricken with it each year. The ACS estimates that as of 2016 there are 134,490 active cases in the country.
Items that contain carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 include:
* Ice cream
* Chewing gum
* Peanut butter
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