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Junk Food Preservative Harms Immune System: Study

New science suggests the FDA should test all food chemicals for safety.

SCI TECH DAILY – A food preservative used to prolong the shelf life of Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats, Cheez-Its and almost 1,250 other popular processed foods may harm the immune system, according to a new peer-reviewed study by Environmental Working Group.

For the study, EWG researchers used data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxicity Forecaster, or ToxCast, to assess the health hazards of the most common chemicals added to food.

The study, published this week in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, also included the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, which can migrate to food from packaging.

EWG’s analysis of ToxCast data showed that the preservative tert-butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, has been found to harm the immune system both in both animal tests and in non-animal tests known as high-throughput in vitro toxicology testing.

This finding is of particular concern during the coronavirus pandemic. Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., EWG vice president for science investigations and lead author of the new study said:

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“The pandemic has focused public and scientific attention on environmental factors that can impact the immune system.

“Before the pandemic, chemicals that may harm the immune system’s defense against infection or cancer did not receive sufficient attention from public health agencies. To protect public health, this must change.”

“Processed foods can be made without these potentially harmful ingredients, so shoppers should read labels carefully.” – SCI TECH DAILY

TBHQ

TBHQ is a preservative that is pervasive in processed foods.

It has been used in foods for many decades and serves no function besides increasing a product’s shelf life.

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Using new non-animal test results from ToxCast, EWG found that TBHQ affected immune cell proteins at doses similar to those that cause harm in traditional studies.

Earlier studies have found that TBHQ might influence how well flu vaccines work and may be linked to a rise in food allergies … Click source below to read more.

“Fried meals and snacks found at fast food restaurants are likely to contain … TBHQ, in order to prevent spoilage in oils and fats (usually animal fats). However, two studies indicate this common FDA-approved ingredient may lead to possible health complications.

“Research published in the journal Food Bioscience stated that TBHQ could alter the positive effects of probiotics (good bacteria that supports a health gut flora)—a finding they determined “could subsequently influence human health. An animal study published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal discovered that this food additive may impair the body’s immune response to the flu.” – EAT THIS, NOT THAT, AUGUST 7, 2020

 

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