New research published in Autoimmunity Reviews showed that eating processed foods weaken the intestine’s resistance to bacteria, toxins, and other hostile nutritional and non-nutritional elements, which increases the chances of developing autoimmune diseases. 

An international team of researchers from Israel and Germany studied the effects of processed food on the intestines and the development of autoimmune diseases. The team looked at the growing use of food additives that aimed to improve qualities such as taste, smell, texture, and shelf life. Data revealed a significant association between the increased use of processed foods and an increased incidence of autoimmune diseases. 

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The study found at least 7 common food additives that weakened tight-junctions, which are barriers that protect the intestinal mucosa from bacteria, toxins, allergens, and carcinogens. These include glucose, sodium, fat solvents, organic acids, gluten, microbial transglutaminase, and nonmetric particles. Weakened tight-junctions, also known as “leaky gut,” can lead to the development of autoimmune diseases. 

Study findings highlight the dangers found in industrial food additives and increase awareness about the need for control over them. Study authors advise those with autoimmune diseases or those with a family history, to “consider avoiding processed foods when possible.” 

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