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How concerned should we be about the emulsifier polysorbate 80 in pickled vegetables/pickles?

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Virtually all the common brands of pickles have it, and emulsifiers can cause leaky gut

It's really sad b/c pickling cucumbers tends to remove pesticide residue AND pickles are among the most filling foods ever





Dietary polysorbate 80 (PS80) is an emulsifier commonly used in various processed foods. It has been shown that a continuous low dose of PS80 impairs intestinal permeability in mice (Chassaing et al., 2015). In addition, PS80 administration causes the development of obesity and metabolic dysfunction, associated with low‐grade inflammation and microbiota dysbiosis in the intestine (Chassaing et al., 2017). Thus, PS80‐induced intestinal permeability can expand to the impairment of whole‐body metabolism, potentially through leakage factors, such as bacteria and endotoxins. Additionally, it can be used as a diet‐induced leaky gut animal model.

The skeletal muscle functions as a major nutrient consumer—skeletal muscles consume >70% of blood glucose—and its proper metabolic functioning is a key factor that can prevent metabolic diseases (Egan & Zierath, 2013). It is well known that muscle metabolism dysfunction causes non‐communicable diseases, including type‐2 diabetes and dyslipidemia (Lavie et al., 2015; Milton et al., 2014). In addition, glucose and lipid metabolic functions also play a key role in maintaining muscle contraction (Hargreaves & Spriet, 2015). Therefore, muscle metabolic capacity influences endurance. These facts led us to hypothesize that intestinal permeability progression may decrease glucose tolerance and endurance associated with impaired glucose metabolism in the skeletal muscle. Here, we show systemic glucose intolerance with inactivating metabolic capacity of the skeletal muscle in the PS80‐induced leaky gut model.




The study found that low concentrations of two commonly used emulsifiers – carboxymethylcellulose and polysorbate-80 – induced inflammation in mice.  This altered micobiota decreased the capacity to digest foods and made it possible for toxins to infiltrate the mucus layer that lines the intestine. At this time the researchers are conducting additional studies in humans to see if the results in animal models  hold up in humans.

Ref: Nature. 2015 Mar 5;519(7541):92-6. doi: 10.1038/nature14232. Epub 2015 Feb 25.



Edited by InquilineKea
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