What preservatives are bad for gut microbiome And what food contains those preservatives?

July 01, 2023 2 min read

What preservatives are bad for gut microbiome And what food contains those preservatives?

Preservatives are used in food to extend its shelf life and prevent spoilage. While they are generally considered safe for consumption, some preservatives can have negative effects on the gut microbiome. Here are some common preservatives that can be harmful to the gut microbiome:

  1. Sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate: These preservatives are commonly used in processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats. They have been linked to an increased risk of colorectal cancer and can disrupt the gut microbiome.
  2. Propionate: This preservative is commonly used in baked goods, dairy products, and processed meats. It has been shown to disrupt the gut microbiome and increase inflammation.
  3. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT): These preservatives are commonly used in processed foods, snack foods, and cereals. They have been shown to disrupt the gut microbiome and increase inflammation.
  4. Sulfites: Sulfites are commonly used in wine, dried fruits, and other preserved foods. They can cause digestive issues and disrupt the gut microbiome.
  5. Benzoates: Benzoates are commonly used in soft drinks, fruit juices, and other processed foods. They have been linked to an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease and can disrupt the gut microbiome.

It's important to note that not all preservatives are bad for the gut microbiome, and some can even have beneficial effects. For example, fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain naturally occurring preservatives that can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

To avoid harmful preservatives, it's best to stick to whole, unprocessed foods as much as possible. When buying packaged foods, check the ingredients list for preservatives and try to choose products with fewer additives.

References:

  1. Rhee, S. (2018). Effects of diet on gut microbiota: a review of the literature. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Research, 7(6), 1731-1738.
  2. Pizzorno, J. (Ed.). (2017). Textbook of natural medicine. Elsevier.
  3. Krajmalnik-Brown, R., Ilhan, Z. E., Kang, D. W., & DiBaise, J. K. (2012). Effects of gut microbes on nutrient absorption and energy regulation. Nutrition in Clinical Practice, 27(2), 201-214.


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