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An emulsifier found in numerous food products has been identified as a significant contributor to causing alterations in the gut microbiome.

Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) is a synthetic emulsifier used to enhance the mouthfeel of beverages and dry beverage mixes. It is also added to sauces, syrups, peanut butter, margarine, ice cream, and frozen yogurt. You may even find this in baked goods like tortillas as it provides more “foldability” and improved texture.

Numerous reports from animal studies have shown that food additives called emulsifiers are responsible for radically altering the gut microbiome, including the intestinal lining. This disruption of gut bacteria has been linked to multiple health conditions, including obesity, colitis, and colon cancer.

A small randomized controlled study on humans was conducted as a follow-up clinical trial.

What they found was quite alarming. Consuming CMC disrupted gut microbes. In particular, they noted a considerable reduction in free amino acids and short-chain fatty acids necessary for maintaining a healthy gut.

In addition, a subset of the study indicated bacteria present in the mucosal lining of the gut, which is typically sterile. This is a common finding with inflammation-based illnesses, including inflammatory bowel disease.

What Should You Do?

Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) is only one of many chemical emulsifiers present in processed food that are likely to all have the same or similar effects on your body. In addition to emulsifiers, there are hundreds of synthetic food additives that all have their own list of side effects and potential health risks.

The best way to avoid them is to eat real food. When you eat food as close to the way it came from nature you are providing your body with micronutrients it needs and minimizing substances that throw it out of balance.

If you want to learn more read my free E-book Clean Eating: Non-Restrictive, Natural, Sustainable, and Easy — -A Complete Guide with Recipes

A Common Food Additive You Should Avoid