Are Food Preservatives Bad for Gut Health?

We see preservatives every day on our food labels, including calcium propionate, potassium benzoate, and sulfites. There are rising concerns that preservatives can be negative for our health, particularly when it comes to the gut. Currently, there are only a few studies conducted on animals in regards to the effect of food preservations on the gut. Nonetheless, these studies indicate that preservatives do not cause long-term negatives effects on gut health.

Although due to limited research on the topic, it is difficult to draw a conclusion. There are too many variables, such as different preservatives and target microorganisms in the gut. However, many wonder whether preservatives are to blame for the increase in obesity rates, diabetes, and coronary diseases. Beyond our diets, we cannot ignore that many other things have evolved in society, not only what we eat. In conclusion, there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that preservatives are harmful to the gut, yet more research is required on the subject.

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As a research scientist, Jing is responsible for lab activities and technical writing for publication. She received her B.S. degree in China and started her M.S. degree and PhD. degree in Department of Grain Science and Industry and Food Science, at Kansas State University, respectively. Jing’s expertise is functional food & nutrition. Driven by strong motivation and interests, she enjoys this job and wants to contribute more to food industry.