Emulsifiers are nonfood chemicals that are added to many processed foods including many processed “healthy” foods to create a smooth, creamy, or thick texture. Emulsifiers also act as preservatives.
70% of packaged foods contain emulsifiers. And a typical restaurant meal can contain a minimum of 6 emulsifiers and additives. Emulsifiers are found in processed baked goods, ice creams, cheeses, yogurts, dressings, dips, snacks, and the list goes on.
Emulsifiers are not recognized by the body as real foods; therefore, they are not absorbed, but as they pass through the colon, they wreak havoc upon our digestive system.
Studies have shown that emulsifiers destroy the gut sometimes irreversibly and promote metabolic syndrome.
How? Some emulsifiers actually feed “bad” or pathogenic gut bacteria which then tear holes in the gut lining, promoting leaky gut.
Other emulsifiers promote specific bad bacteria that cause inflammation.
All emulsifiers cause a reduction in the levels of good bacteria, or probiotics, in the gut.
Emulsifiers Promote metabolic syndrome
Our digestive system is colonized by a vast community of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi, all referred to as the gut microbiota. The gut microbiota determines our overall health.
Research has shown that good gut bacteria play a significant role in the immune system, they control metabolism, and prevent infection.
Good bacteria or probiotics in the gut stop inflammation, while certain pathogenic or “bad” bacteria promote inflammation.
In a monumental study which tested the effect of 20 emulsifiers on gut bacteria and inflammation, it was shown that all 20 of these common emulsifiers harmed gut bacteria. Some of these emulsifiers affected gut bacteria in a non-reversible manner, greatly increasing the risk of chronic digestive diseases, such as IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) including Crohn's. They also increased the risk of overall chronic inflammation in the body and metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome includes high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
Top 13 Emulsifiers To Avoid
- Polysorbate 80
- Cellulose = Sodium carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) - found in many cheeses and commercial breads
- xantham gum- found in many grain free, gluten free, or low carb breads & snacks, dairy free milks & ice creams
- glyceryl stearate
- maltodextrin not classified as a emulsifier, however, it has emulsifying properties
- DATEM- dough conditioner
- guar gum
- Sunflower lecithin
- soy lecithin - This is one of the most common types; produced from soybeans, which are genetically modified
- Locust bean gum
- agar agar
- gum arabic
GUMS & CARAGEENANS
Studies show that Carrageenan and Gum compounds showed harmful impacts on both the makeup and function of gut bacteria. They also caused an elevated expression of pro-inflammatory molecules.
Carrageenans (E407) are a group of gel-forming compounds extracted from some species of seaweeds.
While eating seaweed in its real form is healthy (if it's from clean waters), the carrageenan extracts from seaweed are not healthy.
Certain types of carrageenans seems to be especially involved in intestinal inflammation and development of IBD.
Xantham gum is derived from the Xanthonomas campestris bacterium. Gum arabic, guar gum, and locust bean gum are derived from plants.
Guar gum and xantham gum harbor striking detrimental effects, with alterations in bacterial density, composition, as well as an increased expression of pro-inflammatory molecules. Xanthan gum in particular can cause irreversible damage to the gut microbiota. Locust bean gum also showed important detrimental effects.
The pro-inflammatory effect of sunflower lecithin could be due to its content of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
One specific study showed that Locust bean gum, HPMC, guar gum, and kappa carrageenan harmed gut bacteria, but the results were reversible. Meaning that if you stop eating them, the harm can be undone in theory.
However, the same study showed that xantham gum, sorbitan monostearate, glyceryl stearate, maltodextrin, and P80 harmed gut bacteria and even genetic expression in a non-reversible manner. Meaning that consuming this class of emulsifiers is even more detrimental to our gut health, as the harm was irreversible. While all emulsifiers are bad, Consuming these speciifc emulsifiers can lead to irreversible chronic diseases like IBD and metabolic syndrome which are much harder to heal.
Agar agar, DATEM, HPMC, and glyceryl oleate to MBRA microbiotas resulted in a significant non-reversible reduction in bacterial density. In the case of glyceryl stearate, such reduced diversity resulted in a lasting increase in LPS. LPS is a harmful inflammatory causing bacteria.
Some of the strongest effects were observed from maltodextrin, which is not classified as an emulsifier, but has emulsifying properties. Maltodextrin harmed microbiota density, composition, gene expression, and, perhaps consequently, expression of pro-inflammatory molecules.
Emulsifiers Eradicate Good Bacteria Called Probiotics
Our gut has good bacteria as well, refered to as probiotics. Studies show that emulsifiers like CMC (cellulose), Polysorbate80, soy lecithin, sunflower lecithin, DATEM, and xanthan gum, guar gum, locust bean gums, and glyceryl compounds cause a significant decrease of Lactobacillales probiotic, including Streptococcus genus.
P80, iota carrageenan, HPMC, and mono- and diglycerides caused a remarkable decrease of probiotics in the Clostridiales family, especially Faecalibacterium. Faecalibacterium bacteria has potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies show that patients with IBD (irritable bowel syndrome) have a significant lack of this bacteria. Basically, consumption of emulsifiers causes a decrease in good gut this bacteria which results in IBD.
Maltodextrin, gum arabic, guar gum, locust bean gum, DATEM, sorbitan monostearate, glyceryl stearate, and glyceryl oleate emulsifiers reduced the relative abundance of Akkermansia bacteria. Akkermansia is a good bacteria that promotes the health of the mucus lining. Lack of Akkermansia results in inflammation and metabolic syndrome.
A similar decrease was previously detected in mice upon consumption of guar gum. Reduced levels of Akkermansia is detected in IBD patients, especially patients with ulcerative colitis, contrary to healthy individuals. This bacteria plays a protective role against chronic inflammatory diseases.
Agar agar, DATEM, HPMC, and glyceryl oleate to MBRA microbiotas resulted in a significant non-reversible reduction in bacterial density.
HEAL YOUR GUT THE NATURAL WAY
If you suffer from bloating after meals, digestive problems, or if you're unable to lose weight, suffer from chronic inflammation, a gut reboot is in order.
Avoid processed foods which contain additives and emulsifiers and opt for whole foods like fruits vegetables, and whole grain breads. Find out more about our special breads below.
Cleanse out your gut with our special GUT REJUVENATION TEA.
For Further Cleansing and Detoxification and for an overall health reboot, check out our Detox and Rejuvenation Tea Pack Below
Joseph's Organic Bakery
Joseph's Organic Bakery is devoted to baking ancient grain breads made with non-GMO, non-hybridized grains. Prepared in a unique way and Fermented, each loaf contains the maximum amount of vitamins minerals probiotics and fiber.
WE NEVER USE GUMS, ADDITIVES, DOUGH CONDITIONERS, OR EMULSIFIERS IN ANY OF OUR BAKED GOODS.
We go a step further and grind our own flour to ensure that absolutely nothing is added or taken out of the grain.