What Are the Risks of Artificial Additives?

Artificial additives and edulcorate in particular can alter the permeability of the intestinal barrier, which increases the risk of developing autoimmune diseases. Learn more in this article.
What Are the Risks of Artificial Additives?

Last update: 04 September, 2021

Most industrial foods contain artificial additives that are detrimental to our health. These kinds of sweeteners and preservatives often bring long-term bad side effects.

In fact, while they’re safe over a short period of time, they affect markers associated with metabolic health when consumed regularly. They alter insulin resistance values, for example. In fact, the regular intake of some artificial sweeteners greatly increases this resistance and increases the risk of diabetes.

Artificial additives: A risk that is difficult to quantify

The main problem when assessing the risk of food additives is the lack of studies regarding their long-term safety. Still, a lot of research links the intake of these chemicals to an increased risk of developing certain diseases.

For example, a study published in the journal Autoimmunity Reviews analyzes the consequences of these products on the permeability of the intestinal barrier. The changes are associated with an increased risk of developing autoimmune diseases in the medium to long term.

A bowl of junky cereal.
There’s still no solid evidence regarding the effects of artificial additives. Despite this, some articles associate their consumption with an increased risk of disease.

The intake of foods rich in artificial additives is often correlated with alterations in markers of metabolic status. For instance, aspartame consumption apparently leads to an increase in insulin resistance. Thus, there’s a higher risk of obesity in the medium term. At least according to a study published in 2016.

As you can see, artificial sweeteners aren’t an effective substitute for traditional sugars. You must consume them in moderation and really small amounts.

Artificial additives and cancer risk

Most artificial additives are bad for your health. Especially those used in the meat industry as they pose a higher risk in the development of tumor-type diseases.

In fact, studies such as one published in The Lancet, link regular consumption of processed red meat with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer. This is because these types of meat products are usually seasoned and adulterated with artificial additives regularly.

Likewise, the consumption of white or red meat as such isn’t yet linked to an increased risk of disease. As you can see, it seems artificial additives are the actual problem here.

Prioritize fresh foods

The basis of any healthy diet lies in the need to prioritize the consumption of fresh foods over processed ones. This is because is the best way to guarantee a proper supply of nutrients like antioxidants. These can help prevent disease.

Industrial products often contain additives and refined oils and aren’t healthy at all. You may not be aware of it but they have a high content of trans-type lipids. Consequently, a higher inflammatory potential that has much to do with various metabolic and complex diseases.

A well-balanced wholesome meal.
The key to a quality diet is to prioritize fresh foods over processed ones in your diet.

Skip the artificial additives for a better diet

You must restrict the consumption of processed foods when adopting a healthy diet. Unfortunately, we don’t know the actual implications of the intake of additives in the body yet. Thus, the best recommendation is to keep them out of the diet.

The relationship between red meat and the increased risk of colorectal cancer is demonstrable. For this reason, you must minimize its intake.

The quality of artificial sweeteners is quite sketchy as these substances can alter the permeability of the intestinal barrier. This may increase the probability of developing an autoimmune disease.

In addition, the intake of these sweeteners leads to an increase in insulin resistance. This parameter indicates a greater predisposition to diabetes and obesity. Considering that both diseases are prevalent today, it’s best to be moderate in the consumption of foods sweetened with these chemicals.

Finally, keep in mind that a healthy diet prioritizes fresh foods. In addition, you must complement it with regular physical activity.

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  • Lerner A., Matthias T., Changes in intestinal tight junction permeability associated with industrial food additives explain the rising incidence of autoimmune disease. Autoimmun Rev, 2015. 14 (6): 479-89.
  • Sharma A., Amarnath S., Thulasimani M., ramaswamy S., Artificial sweeteners as a sugar substitute: are they really safe? Indian J Pharmacol, 2016. 48 (3): 237-40.
  • Bouvard V., Loomis D., Guyton KZ., Grosse Y., et al., Carcinogenicity of consumptioin of red and processed meat. Lancet Oncol, 2015. 16 (16): 1599-600.