Emulsifiers make everything from ice cream to salad dressing taste smooth and creamy – but they could also be increasing your risk ofobesity and inflammatory bowel diseases. Researchers from Georgia State University and Cornell University in the US, and Bar Ilan University in Israel, administered two common emulsifiers (Polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose) to mice via drinking water and food. They found that the emulsifiers altered the mice’s good gut germs and brought oninflammation, and also noticed that the mice who had emulsifiers began to eat more food.
Emulsifiers are found in lots of foods, but are often used in low-fat products due to their ability to create a creamy texture. “We think emulsifiers are changing gut bacteria and that’s causing some of the overeating and metabolic problems,” Dr Andrew Gewirtz, study author and professor at Georgia State University’s Institute for Biomedical Sciences, says. But Gewirtz also says that the main culprits of obesity are the ones we already know – eating too much of the wrong foods and not being active enough.