Common Food Preservative May Cause Autism – Research Suggests

Common Food Preservative May Cause Autism – Research Suggests

The health challenges of today are much more different than those of the past centuries. Even though many of the deadly health conditions from the past. However, there are a few issues that have been on the rise and are worrying health professionals around the globe.

Some of these are not even deadly but can considerably affect the life of the individual and the people around him. In addition, health problems can be hard to manage and are most times really heavy on the pocket.

For instance, the health conditions which fall under the autism spectrum disorder are all on the rise. At the moment the scientists have not been able to figure out a complete treatment for autism. It can only be managed and improved through therapies.

Secondly, the sudden rise in the diagnosis of the disorders has left researchers of the subject wondering what could possibly lead to such a situation. A

As a consequence, there is also increased research in order to stop the spread of autism throughout the world. A recent study takes this very same subject into hand and looks at a possible cause of autism which comes from the diet of the people.

The main focus of the study was on one of the factors which are included in the causes of autism which is problems in the maternal immune system. The findings of the study can be found in the journal Scientific Reports.

Read the study here. 

How Was the Study Conducted?

Previously, research has linked the development of autism spectrum disorder to a number of genetic and environmental factors. More recently, a connection between the gut bacteria and autism was revealed by researchers.

A variety of studies found differences in the gut microflora of children with autism in comparison with a child without the condition. Furthermore, it was also discovered that autistic children also tended to have more gastrointestinal issues than others.

The new research looked further and this link between gut bacteria and the rise of autism. Precisely, the team looked at the levels of propionic acid or PPA in autistic children. PPA is a short-chained fatty acid which is also commonly used in many foods as a preservative.

This was because children with autism were seen to have higher levels of PPA in their stools. In order to know why this happens, researchers took stem cells and exposed them to a very high level of propionic acid.

What Were the Results?

After conducting the experiment, the researchers found that exposing stem cells to PPA led to damage in the molecular pathways through which neurons are able to connect the body effectively.

It was then later hypothesized that this may explain the behaviors linked to autism spectrum disorders such as inability to socialize. The brain disruptions caused due to high levels of PPA may, in fact, raise the risk for the development of autism.

How do the levels of PPA rise? As mentioned before, PPA is also used as a preservative in the majority of processed foods. Today, the Standard American Diets are filled with processed foods which may expose people to a higher level of propionic acids.

However, there is also a natural increase in PPA levels during pregnancy as acknowledged by the researchers on this study. They agree that this is only the first step in knowing more about autism spectrum disorders.

Andrea White

As a graduate of Public Health and Policy, Andrea developed an interest in disease development, food and safety and the latest advancements in health. She is a Freelance writer who had affiliations with multiple blogs. Andrea is now pursuing her post-doctorate in Behavioral Sciences.

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