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Industrial baking can be dangerous

 
, medical expert
Last reviewed: 16.04.2020
 
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14 August 2019, 09:00

Baking from stores can increase the risk of developing diabetes - and this is not due to sugar, but another little-known component in the composition. We are talking about propionate - a substance that prevents the appearance of mold in foods. Studies have shown that propionate "intervenes" during metabolic processes and lowers cellular insulin sensitivity.

The study was conducted by Harvard and Haim Sheba Medical Center.

What is propionate? This is a salt or ester of propionic acid, which is placed in the dough or cheese, and in any products, to prevent the formation of mold.

In general, propionate is considered a non-hazardous substance. It is normally even secreted by human intestinal bacteria, as it helps to process plant fiber. But how useful are propionates if they were delivered to the body artificially?

Scientists began their research by offering this substance to rodents. After the use of propionate in normal dietary amounts in animals, the blood increased the hormone glucagon, which stimulates the release of glucose into the bloodstream in the liver, as well as the hormone norepinephrine, which controls blood pressure, increases sugar levels and regulates protein, a direct participant in the metabolism of fatty acids. As a result, the level of sugar in the blood of rodents rose sharply, and after 5 months, the animals became much stout and even got a tendency to develop type II diabetes .

Then the scientists continued their experiment in humans, inviting volunteers - 14 people without any health deviations, with normal weight and normal blood sugar. Volunteers were conditionally divided into two groups: the first group had to eat about 1 g of propionate with food (this is approximately the amount that an average person eats with industrial food), and the other group was offered “clean” food. 4 hours after eating, blood samples were taken from subjects.

After one week of the experiment, the groups were reversed and again observed changes in blood tests.

In general, the results of the study were about the same as when testing rodents. Blood glucose levels increased under the influence of propionate, but stabilized much more slowly. In addition, the additive influenced the increased insulin content, which indicated a deterioration in the absorption of sugar by tissues.

In addition to the experiment, experts examined the medical records of more than 150 patients who took part in another project on weight loss. It was found that in those who had reduced insulin sensitivity, the content of propionate in the blood was higher.

It is possible that the test substance actually increases the risk of developing type II diabetes, and it is better to refuse products with its content. But it should be noted that so far we are talking about preliminary results, and other experiments on this issue are ahead. Therefore, it is too early to draw final conclusions.

Source - stm.sciencemag.org/content/11/489/eaav0120

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