One reason I created That Healthy Co and the collagen that came with it, was due to the fact I couldn't find a single supplement that was clean, wild caught, sustainably source AND didn't have some sort of flavour, colour, filler and an emulsifier. They are everywhere! Take a look at you supplement ingredients and can you safely say that they don't contain any of the above?
What might seem so small can actually have a major effect on your health over time. In today's food industry, emulsifiers are commonly used additives that enhance the texture, stability, and shelf life of processed foods. While they may seem harmless, emerging research has raised concerns about the potential dangers associated with these commonly used ingredients. I am here to shed light on why you should be cautious about consuming them and start sourcing products that don't utilise them.
Disruption of Gut Microbiota: One of the primary concerns surrounding emulsifiers is their impact on the delicate balance of our gut microbiota. Studies have revealed that these additives can disrupt the composition of gut bacteria, leading to inflammation, intestinal permeability, and a compromised immune system. These effects have been linked to various digestive disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Inflammation and Chronic Diseases: Emulsifiers have been found to trigger low-grade inflammation in the body, which has been associated with the development of chronic diseases. Research suggests that prolonged consumption of emulsifiers may contribute to conditions like obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and even certain types of cancer.
Altered Hormonal Balance: Emulsifiers have the potential to interfere with hormonal balance in the body. Some studies have shown that these additives can disrupt the normal functioning of hormones, such as insulin and leptin, which play crucial roles in appetite regulation and metabolism. Imbalances in these hormones can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, and metabolic disorders.
Increased Food Allergies and Sensitivities: Emulsifiers have been linked to an increased risk of food allergies and sensitivities. They can disrupt the protective barriers in the gut, making it easier for allergens to enter the bloodstream and trigger immune responses. This can contribute to the development or exacerbation of allergic reactions, including skin rashes, asthma, and digestive issues.
Potential Carcinogenic Effects: While more research is needed, certain emulsifiers have shown potential carcinogenic effects in animal studies. Specifically, some studies have indicated a link between emulsifier consumption and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Although the evidence is not conclusive, it highlights the need for further investigation into the long-term effects of these additives on human health.
Some common examples you will find:
Mono- and Di- glycerides: These are esters of fatty acids and glycerol that act as emulsifiers to improve the texture and stability of processed foods.
Lecithin: Typically derived from soybeans, lecithin is a natural emulsifier that helps blend ingredients together and prevent separation in products like chocolates, baked goods, and dressings.
Polysorbate: Polysorbate 80 (also known as Tween 80) is a commonly used emulsifier that helps stabilise oil-water mixtures in various processed foods..
Xanthan Gum: While primarily a thickening agent, xanthan gum can also function as an emulsifier, providing stability and texture in various food and beverage products.
Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (SSL): SSL is a food additive that functions as an emulsifier, improving the texture and quality of baked goods, dairy products, and processed meats.
Emulsifiers, once considered harmless, now raise concerns due to their potential adverse effects on gut health, inflammation, hormonal balance, food allergies, and even cancer. Always remember that informed choices about the food we consume can have a significant impact on our long-term health and well-being. Choose quality.
Other alternative names to be aware of in ingredients.
- Soy lecithin
- Mono- and di-glycerides
- Polysorbate 80
- Guar gum
- Xanthan gum
- Sodium stearoyl lactylate
- Rice flour
- Wheat flour
- Oat fiber
- Red 40
- Yellow 5
- Blue 1
- Caramel color
- Annatto extract
- Beet juice powder
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon oil
- Almond extract
- Peppermint oil
- Artificial strawberry flavour
- Natural coffee flavour