Widely-used preservative increased risk for Diabetes and obesity

A preservative increases the risk for weight gain?

Researchers in the internationally recognized Harvard University found in their study that so-called propionate, were in baking, animal feed and artificial flavouring substances widely-used preservative to increase the level of various hormones seems to be, what with a risk of obesity and Diabetes.

In the current study of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, it was found that a commonly used preservative, increases the risk for obesity. The results of the study were published in the English journal “Science Translational Medicine”.

Causes a prevalent ingredient in our food that we grow faster and more likely to have Diabetes and obesity develop? (Photo: Philippe Ramakers/fotolia.com)

Propionate can trigger a cascade of metabolic events

The new investigation, which the data from a randomised, placebo of combined controlled study in humans and mice, noted that propionate can trigger a cascade of metabolic events that leads to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia. The results also showed that in mice, chronic propionate exposure resulted in weight gain and insulin resistance, report researchers.

More than 400 million people suffer from Diabetes

“If we understand how the ingredients in food can affect the metabolism of the body at the molecular and cellular level, we can simple but effective measures to combat the two epidemics, obesity and Diabetes entwickeln“, the study’s author, Professor Gökhan S. Hotamışlıgil, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in a press release says.

Worldwide more than 400 million people suffer from Diabetes. The Rate of Diabetes incidence is likely to increase despite extensive efforts to contain the disease up to the year 2040 by 40 percent. The increasing Rates of Diabetes and obesity in the last 50 years, suggesting that environmental and dietary factors influence the growth of this epidemic. The researchers assumed that the components of the diet, including the ingredients used in the preparation or preservation of food, may represent a significant factor, but these molecules have so far been little investigated.

What is propionate?

For the current study, the researchers focused on propionate, a naturally occurring short-chain fatty acid, which prevents-food-mold forming. They administered these short-chain fatty acid first to mice and found that they activated the sympathetic nervous system quickly, which led to a rise in hormones, including Glucagon, norepinephrine, and of the newly discovered gluconeo genes hormone FABP4. This hormone is in turn stimulated the mice to produce more glucose from your liver cells, which led to hyperglycemia, a defining characteristic of Diabetes.

Further Tests on humans were carried out

In addition, the researchers found that a long-term treatment of mice with propionate dose corresponding to the amount typically consumed by people, a significant weight gain as well as insulin led to resistance in the animals.

To find out whether the results can be transferred from mice to humans, the researchers performed a double-blind, placebo-conducted controlled study with 14 healthy Participants. These were randomly divided into two groups: One group received a meal that contained one gram of propionate as an additive, and the other group was given a meal which contained a Placebo. Blood samples were then before the meal, within 15 minutes after eating the meal and then every 30 minutes for a period of four hours.

What is the uptake of propionate resulted in people?

The researchers found that people who consumed the meal with propionate, experienced a significant increase in norepinephrine and a rise in Glucagon and FABP4 shortly after eating the meal. The results suggest that propionate may act as a metabolic disruptor that may increase the risk of Diabetes and obesity in humans. Propionate is generally recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as safe, but the new findings justify a further examination of propionate and possible Alternatives that could be used in the preparation of food.

Ingredients in food must be better investigated

“The dramatic increase in the incidence of obesity and Diabetes in the last 50 years suggests that environmental and nutritional factors must be included. A factor that needs attention, the ingredients in ordinary food. We are daily exposed to hundreds of these substances, and most have not been tested in Detail for their potential long-term metabolic effects“, explains Professor Amir Tirosh a research associate at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. (as)