People consuming propionate, a commonly used food additive in baked goods, are at risk of being affected by diabetes, according to new research.
The research conducted by scientists of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in mice and humans revealed that propionate when consumed as an additive in food led to increase in blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) and insulin resistance. The study was also conducted in 14 healthy people and they also showed increased levels of insulin and insulin resistance. Increased insulin resistance means body not responding to hormone insulin released by pancreas. This will cause increase in blood sugar levels.
The researchers have pointed out that it is too early to link propionate intake with diabetes as mroe studies are required to confirm the preliminary findings. Propionate, a short chain fatty acid, is generally recognised as safe for consumption not requiring approval of US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA)for use as food additive. Propionate is used in cheese, baked, processed goods and artificial flavourings.