A new study on mice found that food additives commonly found in processed foods increased the risk of colon cancer. Emulsifiers are commonly added to food for texture and prolonged shelf life.
In mice, consumption of two common emulsifiers led to intestinal bacteria changes, promoting inflammation and colon cancer.
Researcher Emilie Viennois explained, “The incidence of colorectal cancer has been markedly increasing since the mid-20th century. A key feature of this disease is the presence of an altered intestinal microbiota that creates a favorable niche for [the production of tumors].”
Assistant professor Benoit Chassaing added, “The dramatic increase in these diseases has occurred amidst constant human genetics, suggesting a pivotal role for an environmental factor.”
Additional research is required on emulsifiers in order to determine whether they are causing cancer.
The study was published in Cancer Research.