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Gut health alert: Common food preservative may pose risks, scientists warn

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food-preservative(NaturalHealth365)  For thousands of years, salt has played a crucial role in food preservation, helping to keep meat and other perishable items from spoiling while enhancing their flavor.  However, a recent study published in ACS Chemical Biology has shed light on the potential downsides of some preservatives commonly found in processed foods.

This research underscores the importance of understanding how these additives may affect our gut health and overall health.  Let’s find out what the researchers found.

Researchers raise concerns over gut health threat posed by common food preservative

A widespread food preservative known as nisin is causing scientists to raise red flags over its potential impact on gut health.  This antimicrobial agent is commonly added to a variety of food products, including dipping sauces, cheese, beer, and meats.

Nisin, a small polypeptide antibiotic with powerful antibacterial properties, is naturally produced by bacteria to protect food from harmful microbes.  While it effectively safeguards against food-borne diseases, it also threatens the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Despite its role in food safety, nisin’s detrimental effects on gut health remain a concern among scientists, prompting further investigation into its potential risks.

The proof that shows nisin-laden foods are a legitimate threat to gut health

The study linked above isolated lantibiotics derived from the gut, examining them to determine how they interact with microbes that cause disease.  The researchers also analyzed how lantibiotics interact with the gut’s “good bacteria” for more in-depth understanding.

The findings show the beneficial gut microbes were just as susceptible to the impact of lantibiotics as the negative microbes that contribute to the onset of disease.  Therefore, it is logical to question whether nisin should be used as a food preservative.

Tips that will help you minimize or avoid the consumption of nisin

You or someone you love may enjoy indulging in cheese, beer, and dipping sauces because they’re tasty and readily available at your local grocery store.  However, the presence of nisin in these products might give you pause.  If you have some spare time after work, why not embrace the DIY spirit and try making your own beer with a brewing kit?

While crafting your own nisin-free cheese can be a bit of a project, it’s definitely doable.  And if you’re a fan of dipping sauces, consider whipping them up from scratch instead of relying on store-bought options that may contain nisin.

But it’s not just cheese, beer, and dipping sauces that may contain nisin.  Processed meats like sausages and deli meats often contain nisin as a preservative.  Similarly, canned soups, sauces, and ready-to-eat meals may also contain nisin to prolong their shelf life.  Additionally, certain types of bread and baked goods, such as bagels, English muffins, and pastries, may contain nisin to prevent mold growth.  Even some types of cheese spreads, yogurt, and snack foods like chips and crackers may contain nisin as an additive.

To avoid nisin in your diet, consider these tips:

Opt for fresh, whole foods:  Choose fresh fruits, vegetables, 100% grass fed meats, and pasture raised dairy products instead of factory farmed (overly processed) foods.

Choose organic and natural productsOrganic and natural food products are less likely to contain synthetic preservatives like nisin.

Shop at specialty stores:  Specialty stores and health food stores often carry a selection of nisin-free products.

Experiment with homemade recipes:  Try making your own versions of favorite foods, such as cheese, sauces, and baked goods, using nisin-free ingredients.

Support local producers:  Purchase locally sourced and artisanal products, which are less likely to contain synthetic preservatives.

Remember, nisin may not always be explicitly listed on food labels.  It can be included under broader terms such as “preservatives” or “natural flavors.” Therefore, it’s essential to carefully read ingredient lists and look for potential sources of nisin or similar preservatives if you’re trying to avoid it in your diet.

Sources for this article include:

The post Gut health alert: Common food preservative may pose risks, scientists warn appeared first on NaturalHealth365.

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