Many of today’s processed foods are considered to be unhealthy because of the many different ingredients they contain. Chemical compounds that enhance flavor and shelf life are also known to cause a lot of other health conditions. Many scientists are continuing to discover how these ingredients may have an effect on health. Recently, research has shown that additives used mostly in ice cream and other processed foods are linked to a higher risk of colon cancer.
Researchers from the Georgia State University in Atlanta found out that emulsifiers used in processed foods like ice cream can cause inflammation and increase the risk of colon cancer. The researchers divided three groups of mice for the study- two groups were either given either sodium carboxymethycellulose (CMC) or polysorbate 80 (P80), which are emulsifiers while the third group received water. The three groups were also given toxins to trigger inflammation and cause cancer.
Over the course of the study, the researchers found out that those who were given emulsifiers formed more and bigger cancer tumors, in addition to the changes caused by inflammation. The researchers believe that the emulsifiers can alter the balance of gut bacteria that provides a favorable environment for cancer tumors to form.
Although this might sound alarming, the findings may require further study since tests results in mice does not necessarily translate the same thing in humans. Not only that, the study also gave large doses of emulsifiers to the test subjects, which are not normally the amount that people may ingest in normal food products in the market. Moreover, the test subjects were also given substances that can trigger or increase the formation of cancer. Further studies may be needed in order to determine whether these compounds may have the same effects on humans. Findings of the said study were published in the journal Cancer Research