Could the consumption of the emulsifiers (smoothing agents) used in many processed foods such as ice cream and many candies has been shown to have a close relationship to Inflammatory Bowel Disease and other serious conditions.
A story in Science (February 25, 2015) carries the report of a 2009 study and more recent research, all of which linked CMC, the emulsifier carboxymethylcellulose to excessive bacterial growth in the intestines of mice.
Other data includes a close statistical relationship between processed food intake and increases in human bowel diseases.
Our intestines are chock full of bacteria. In fact we couldn’t survive without them.
But the current over emphasis on cleanliness has led to a follow up market to anti-bacterial sprays and soaps – probiotics which are just bacterial loaded pills and foods which repopulate the intestine with critical bacteria.
Yogurt does the same thing, but the bacteria (which help digest foods and make nutrients more bio-available to us) don’t actually infect the lining of the gut or you would quickly die of the infection. The bacteria live in the contents of the intestine which is why you need a probiotic after certain operations or diagnostic procedures which empty the bowel completely.
In healthy people a layer of mucus keeps the essential but dangerous bacteria away from the actual intestine.
Now studies have shown that there is a close correlation between the increasing consumption of foods with additives which make foods such as chocolate smooth and increasing numbers of IBD and other inflammatory diseases.
These emulsifiers are a kind of soap which may be making it easier for the bacteria to cross the mucous shield and come in contact with the actual bowel.
You may never have heard of CMC (mentioned above) but the other main emulsifier tested is Polysorbate-80, a very common ingredient in many packaged foods.
In tests with mice there was a direct correlation between ingestion of the emulsifiers in small amounts and bowel infections.
My latest book, “Sheep in the Rafters” is partially about less clean but more healthy living – farm-raised children are healthier than city-raised kids because their immune systems are stronger from having been stimulated more. Yet another indication that some modern advances are actually bad for us.