This additive can slow down the metabolism

This additive can slow down the metabolism

Studies have long focused on the consequences of long-term intake of a number of additives in food.


By additives we mean all those substances that are added to a food to give it particular properties and improve them from the point of view of taste, conservation or appearance.

For example, stabilizers, dyes, preservatives, emulsifiers (such as lecithins), sweeteners, flavor and acidity correctors, etc. are food additives.

There is a regulation on additives, that of EFSA for Europe (and of the FDA for America): for example, additives are indicated with an abbreviation preceded by the letter E.

Some are of synthetic origin (flavors or dyes), others are of natural origin (guar gum, carrageenan) but have a particular chemical processing, finally others are only of natural origin.


This legislation for EFSA will be reviewed by 2020.

This is because in the last ten years new scientific evidence has highlighted health and safety problems linked to the use of certain additives.
In particular those used from 2008 onwards.

For example, some additives are suspected to be teratogenic, carcinogenic or have hormonal health consequences.

Among the additives that will be re-evaluated, soy lecithin, carrageenan, guar gum, silicon dioxide, some dyes, etc.

Pending the re-evaluation of EFSA, however, some studies link the use of certain additives to metabolic and hormonal problems .

As in the case of this latest study, which reveals a correlation between a very common additive and slow metabolism.


Two experiments, one in mice and one in people, uncovered new health risks for consuming methyl propionate. It is a short-chain fatty acid used as a solvent and flavoring.

We find it in packaged desserts, in cosmetics, in all products that use it as a sweet aroma, in animal feed, in some spreadable cheeses.

Propionate, until now considered safe, is used in many industrial foods.

A study in Science Traditional Medicine reveals that propionate, by increasing glucagon and FABP4 production, can lead to insulin resistance and obesity in both humans and animals.

Low-dose consumption (as an additive) of propionate in mice was found to cause guinea pigs to gain weight and develop insulin resistance. Same thing in people.

Scientists note that levels of propionate (we produce some of it in the intestine) decrease with weight loss.
If in excess, through daily consumption as a food additive, it triggers an inflammatory process that slows down the metabolism, favoring the accumulation of fat and diabetes.

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