It’s an industry secret Big Food NEVER wanted you to know about.
For years, they’ve tried to cover it up. But they can’t keep the truth under wraps any longer.
It turns out common food additives they’re dumping into everyday foods could be controlling your behavior and making you sick.
Research has connected these detergent-like molecules, called emulsifiers, to low-grade inflammation.
Links to metabolic disorders and obesity were already uncovered in animal studies. And researchers believe they contribute to some chronic inflammatory diseases such as colitis.
Experts say emulsifiers can mess with your gut disturbing your belly-bug balance, or what scientist call your microbiome.
Processed foods often contain emulsifiers
But it gets worse. Because now there’s evidence they could even be affecting our mental health and behavior too.
Big Food uses emulsifiers in many processed foods. You’ll find them hidden in salad dressing, ice cream, bread, chocolate, margarine, processed meats, and more.
The additives change the food’s texture, often making them smoother or creamier. And they can help keep the ingredients from separating.
But shocking new research has revealed they could have some other unintended consequences as well.
Emulsifiers may also be behind the steady rise in anxiety levels we’ve seen in the Western world.
Your belly and brain are connected
As strange as it sounds, there’s a direct link between your belly and your brain.
In fact, many scientists refer to the gut as our “second brain.” Which is why your anxiety levels go hand-in-hand with the health of your belly bugs.
And the science proves it…
Mice without any gut bacteria have much higher anxiety, for example. And antibiotics which kill off gut bacteria can influence the microbiome so strongly that anxiety levels and socialization skills can stay off kilter for YEARS.
But on the other hand swallowing good bacteria, as you’ll find in fermented foods, can reduce anxiety.
Now, for the first time research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, has linked two specific emulsifiers to elevated anxiety.
And while food manufacturers have done everything in their power to keep this information under wraps, they can’t cover it up any longer.
Could emulsifiers turn US into emotional zombies?
Researchers added polysorbate-80 (P80) and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) to the drinking water of mice for 12 weeks.
If you’re a regular reader, both might sound a bit familiar. Last year I shared the results of a Georgia State University study linking P80 and CMC to chronic gut inflammation and colorectal cancer.
Well, at the end of the 12 weeks, the scientists measured changes in the critter’s gut bugs and behavior. And once again, there was just no denying it. The P80 and CMA triggered inflammation.
But this time the researchers traced that inflammation OUT of the belly and INTO the brain. And it quickly became clear the additives were having an effect on their emotional health and actions too.
Anxiety behaviors shot through the roof… especially in the males. While the female mice also became far less social.
In other words, the emulsifiers appeared to be controlling the behavior of the mice. And experts worry they could be doing the same to us.
Escape the influence of emulsifiers
The researchers don’t know precisely how the additives wield their influence. But they have a strong theory
Remember that belly and brain connection I mentioned earlier? Well, that link is through the vagus nerve.
And scientists think inflammation-triggered immune cells travel along this information highway to influence your brain.
Avoiding ALL food additives is nearly impossible of course. But you can reduce how much you’re exposed.
Just cut back on the number of processed foods you eat. Buy more fresh, organic, whole foods, and fix your meals from scratch.
They’re far less likely to be swimming in additives. And besides, they taste better too.