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Common red food coloring causes intestinal inflammation, colitis

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Recent studies have shown that common red food coloring can cause inflammation in the gut, leading to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).Rebecca Aldama/EyeEm/Getty Images
  • A recent study investigated the effects of the commonly used food dye ‘Allura Red’ on intestinal inflammation and whether it could lead to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis. did.
  • Using animal models, they found that chronic but not intermittent consumption of Allura Red induced mild intestinal inflammation in mice.
  • Researchers hope their findings will bring consumer attention Potential harm of food coloring.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

In 2017, 6.8 million of IBD in the world. 2015, 1.3% About 3 million adults in the United States had IBD.

gain evidence suggested that diet plays an important role in the development of IBD.

Valuable research shows that food additives like titanium dioxide, used to give foods an opaque white color, alter the gut microbiota and gut function.

Further research into how food additives affect gut health may improve public awareness and health policy regarding food consumption.

In a recent study, researchers evaluated the effects of the red food dye Allura Red (AR). most widely used food coloring worldwide, especially in the United States

The study found that mice exposed to AR at an early age were more susceptible to colitis, a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the lining of the colon. The findings also showed that chronic exposure to AR induced mild colitis.

The survey results are Nature Communications.

The Western diet, which contains high levels of additives, fat, red meat, sugar, and low intake of fiber, is known to cause chronic intestinal inflammation.

Food additives, emulsifiers and synthetic colorants are widely used to improve the texture, shelf life and aesthetics of food.

Allura Red is found in common processed foods such as candies, snack foods, soft drinks, dairy products, and cereals.

  • skittles
  • strawberry fanta
  • Doritos Nacho Cheese Tortilla Chips
  • fruit loop
  • Nabisco Oreo Winter Chocolate Sand Cookie

For this study, researchers examined the effects of several common food colors on serotonin production.

  • AR
  • Brilliant Blue FCF
  • Sunset Yellow FCF
  • tartrazine yellow

All coloring agents stimulated serotonin secretion, but AR was found to have the most pronounced effect. So they further investigated AR in mice fed different diets for 12 weeks.

  • standard diet
  • Daily AR-inspired meals
  • AR Infusion Diet 1 day a week

AR intake was calculated according to the acceptable daily intake level for humans. Colitis was induced by chemical exposure 7 days after his diet.

They found that intermittent exposure to AR (most similar to human exposure) did not increase susceptibility to colitis.

However, mice that received AR daily He developed mild colitis and was associated with elevated serotonin levels and poor intestinal nutrient absorption.

From other experiments, researchers found that similar effects occur when AR is consumed with food or water.

They also investigated the effects of AR exposure in young mice. They fed a 4-week-old mouse with standard chow or AR for his 4 weeks.

They found that early exposure to AR induced mild colonic inflammation and altered the expression of genes associated with antimicrobial responses.

From further testing, they found that AR did not increase susceptibility to colitis in mice lacking tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1), an enzyme used to synthesize serotonin in the gut.

They pointed out that this means that AR affects the gut microbiota via the serotonergic system.

Dr. David Fudman, assistant professor of gastroenterology and liver disease at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who was not involved in the study, said: medical news today Regarding study limitations:

“The main limitation of these findings is that they were generated in a mouse model of colitis, and colitis is caused by exposure to chemicals. We do not know if the same is seen in humans with colitis.” For this reason, caution should be exercised in interpreting animal research data.”

Still, Dr. Fudman noted that animal studies are important for determining areas for further research in humans so that the results can be used in medicine and teaching.

Lead study author Waliul Khan, Ph.D., professor of pathology and molecular medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, said in a news release:

“Our findings are surprising and alarming because this common synthetic food dye can be a dietary trigger for IBD. It’s an important advance in warning the public about the potential harm of food dyes.”

Dr. Khan also pointed out that the literature suggests there may be other health effects from consuming allura red.

Allura Red can affect certain allergies, immune disorders, and behavioral problems in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), continued Dr. Khan.

Dr. Fudman added that there is growing evidence that dietary exposure is involved in the development of IBD.

“This data should drive further investigation as to whether this food additive may play a role in the development of IBD in humans,” Dr. Fudman concluded.

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