Common Food Additive Linked to Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Chronic exposure to emulsifiers found in many processed and packaged foods may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, a new study finds.

One of the most commonly used food additives may raise your risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a new study. Emulsifiers are often added to processed and packaged foods to improve their appearance, taste, and texture. Previous investigations have linked them to changes in gut microbiota, increases in inflammation, and metabolic disruption. Now, researchers say they may lead to greater odds of developing diabetes.

Their study included 104,000 people who reported on the foods they consumed and the commercial brands they used for up to 14 years. The researchers calculated their intake of common emulsifiers and found chronic exposure was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, even after accounting for important factors such as age, weight, family history, and physical activity.

The lead authors say that while these findings alone cannot establish cause and effect, they will strengthen the debate over re-evaluating food additive regulations to better protect consumers.

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