A food coloring can trigger inflammatory bowel disease

A food coloring can trigger inflammatory bowel disease.


Long-term consumption of Allura Red ( E129 ) food coloring may be a potential trigger of inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, says McMaster University’s Waliul Khan. Researchers using experimental animal models have found that continuous exposure to Allura Red AC harms gut health and promotes gut inflammation. The dye directly alters the intestinal barrier function and increases the production of serotonin, a hormone/neurotransmitter present in the intestine, which subsequently alters the composition of the intestinal microbiota leading to increased susceptibility to colitis.


Khan said Allura red (also called FD&C Red 40 and Food Red 17) is a common ingredient in candy, soda (bitter soda), dairy products and some cereals. Colorant is used to add color and texture to foods. The use of synthetic food colors such as Allura Red has increased significantly in recent decades, but the effects of these colors on gut health have been little studied previously. Khan and his team have published their findings in Nature Communications.

“This study demonstrates the significant harmful effects of Allura Red on gut health and identifies intestinal serotonin as a critical factor mediating these effects. These findings have important implications for the prevention and management of intestinal inflammation,” said Khan, a professor in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and a researcher at the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute. “Literature suggests that consuming Allura Red also affects some allergies, immune disorders and behavioral problems in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder“. Considerable progress has been made in the identification of susceptibility genes and in understanding the role of the host immune system and microbiota in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease in recent years. However, similar progress has been made in defining environmental risk factors such as dyes.

Khan said environmental triggers for inflammatory bowel disease are included in the typical Western diet, which includes processed fats, red meats, sugar and lack of fiber, and generally lots of processed foods (with large amounts of various additives and dyes). .



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