It’s no secret that whole foods are much healthier than anything from a packet.
But the evidence we should steer clear of pre-made and packaged products continues to mount.
A recent study published in the journal Autoimmune Reviews found that 7 common food additives may increase your risk of autoimmune disease, such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and Hashimoto’s disease.
One of the reasons autoimmune diseases occur is thought to be due to increased intestinal permeability. That is, when the “barrier” that stops allergens and harmful substances from crossing into our blood stream starts to expand and “leak.”
Authors of this latest study wanted to see if there was a correlation between consumption of food additives and incidence of autoimmune diseases. They identified 7 additives used to improve smell, taste, texture and shelf life linked to poorer intestinal permeability:
- organic acids
- fat solvents
- nanometric particles
- microbial transglutaminase
Lead author Professor Lerner said, ”Control and enforcement agencies such as the FDA stringently supervise the pharmaceutical industry, but the food additive market remains unsupervised enough.
We hope this study and similar studies increase awareness about the dangers inherent in industrial food additives, and raise awareness about the need for control over them.”
Now because of the study design, it is by no means proof that additives directly cause autoimmune diseases. However, considering the theoretical risks of many food additives, as well as those banned outside of the US, these findings could be a big piece of the puzzle.
Those who have a family history of autoimmune disease should strongly consider limiting processed food intake as much as possible.