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Polysorbate 80 Food Additive, Gut Bacteria, and Inflammation

Linda Crampton is a writer and teacher with a first-class honors degree in biology. She often writes about the scientific basis of disease.

Some strains of Escherichia coli are normal inhabitants of our gut, or intestine. Polysorbate 80 may affect our gut bacteria, leading to inflammation.

Some strains of Escherichia coli are normal inhabitants of our gut, or intestine. Polysorbate 80 may affect our gut bacteria, leading to inflammation.

What Is Polysorbate 80?

Polysorbate 80 is a common food additive that acts as an emulsifier, a solubilizer, and a surfactant. It's generally—but not universally—considered to be a safe substance, although it may cause problems in special cases. One of these cases is in people with Crohn's disease. In this disease, the lining of the gastrointestinal tract is inflamed. Polysorbate 80 may worsen the inflammation.

Research performed at Georgia State University has raised the idea that polysorbate 80 is not as harmless as is generally believed. The research suggests that the chemical changes the composition of the bacterial population in the intestine, promoting the growth of pro-inflammatory bacteria. These bacteria may cause mild gut inflammation even in people who don't have Crohn's disease. The inflammation may then increase the risk of a person developing metabolic syndrome. This syndrome involves a number of unhealthy conditions, including obesity and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance increases the blood sugar level and is often a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

Polysorbate 80 may affect gut bacteria in the human gastrointestinal or digestive tract.

Polysorbate 80 may affect gut bacteria in the human gastrointestinal or digestive tract.

A Chemical With Multiple Uses

Polysorbate 80 is a very useful substance in processed foods. It creates a smooth texture and a great mouthfeel. It also enables substances to mix when they wouldn't normally do so. It's added to health and beauty products, medications, and vaccines as well as foods. It's often referred to an excipient in medications and vaccines. Excipients are substances other than the active ingredient that serve a useful function in a product.

IUPAC (International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry) has established a naming system for chemicals. According to this system, polysorbate 80's real name is polyoxyethylene (20) sorbitan monooleate. It's a synthetic chemical that is sold in the form of a thick yellow liquid. The chemical is soluble in water as well as in several other liquids.

Polysorbate 80 is added to many brands of ice cream to give them a smooth and creamy texture.

Polysorbate 80 is added to many brands of ice cream to give them a smooth and creamy texture.

An Emulsifier

Polysorbate 80 is used as an emulsifier. An emulsifier enables oils to mix with water instead of staying separated. The emulsifier breaks up oil and fat into small droplets. The oil droplets don't dissolve in water, but they do form a fine dispersion which is appealing in food and cosmetics.

Emulsifiers enable us to enjoy food products such as creamy sauces, mayonnaise, margarine, ice cream, and smooth chocolate. Egg yolk is a natural emulsifier, but it has the disadvantage of a short shelf life. Lecithin from soybeans is also an emulsifier.

Uncooked egg yolk is a natural emulsifier.

Uncooked egg yolk is a natural emulsifier.

A Solubilizer and a Surfactant

Polysorbate 80 is a good solubilizer as well as a good emulsifier. A solubilizer is a substance that increases the solubility of one substance in another, allowing them to mix. The term is often used to describe a substance that increases the ability of oil to dissolve in water.

Polysorbate 80 is also useful as a surfactant. A surfactant lowers the surface tension on the surfaces of liquids. Its name is a contraction of "surface active agent". The molecules at the surface of a liquid bind tightly to each other, producing a phenomenon known as surface tension. Surface tension creates a barrier that prevents some substances from entering the liquid. The barrier also makes it hard for the liquid to mix with other substances. Surfactants such as polysorbate 80 help substances to mix with other substances by reducing the surface tension that is keeping them apart.

Crohn's disease most often develops in the ileum at the end of the small intestine and in the part of the colon nearest to the ileum.

Crohn's disease most often develops in the ileum at the end of the small intestine and in the part of the colon nearest to the ileum.

What Is Crohn's Disease?

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD. (Bowel is another name for intestine.) The inflammation of the intestine is accompanied by pain, which may be severe and even debilitating. Symptoms of the disease also include diarrhea, malnutrition, weight loss, and fatigue.

The intestinal problem in a patient with Crohn's disease is often in the ileum, which is the last part of the small intestine, or in the first part of the colon, which is the longest part of the large intestine. The symptoms may appear anywhere in the digestive tract, however. Current treatments can be very helpful for some people—though not for everyone—but at the moment there is no cure.

Exploring the Causes of Crohn's Disease

The Possible Role of Bacteria

The cause of Crohn's disease isn't known for certain, although researchers suspect that an abnormally-permeable intestinal lining and an overactive immune system are involved. It's thought that the immune system responds inappropriately to microbes such as bacteria in the intestine.

The human intestine is the home of a huge bacterial population. Many of these bacteria are very helpful, but a few are harmful. Normally the effects of the good bacteria overcome the effects of the bad ones. In people with Crohn's disease, the immune system may be overreacting to the presence of harmful microbes or continuing an attack against these microbes (via the inflammatory response) after the microbes have been destroyed.

Polysorbate 80 and Crohn's Disease

Several research projects have suggested a link between polysorbate 80 and Crohn's disease. One project of interest was performed by British researchers and reported in the British Medical Journal.

The researchers explored the effect of polysorbate 80 and soluble plant fibres on the movement of Escherichia coli into isolated human cells and tissue in a laboratory. Some strains of E. coli have been implicated in Crohn's disease. The scientists used M cells or M-cells (also known as microfold cells) in their experiment. These cells are one of the types present in the intestinal lining and may be the site of bacterial invasion.

The researchers found that polysorbate 80 increased bacterial absorption in both cells from Crohn's disease patients and cells from healthy people. The chemical had a greater effect on the cells from the Crohn's disease patients, however. Electron microscopy confirmed that E.coli had entered the cells. The researchers also discovered that fibre from broccoli and plantain decreased bacterial absorption in the intestinal cells.

The results imply that polysorbate 80 could worsen Crohn's disease by causing more bacteria to enter the intestinal lining. This may in turn increase the abnormal response to the bacteria and the gut inflammation.

Researchers in Britain have discovered that fibre from broccoli reduces E. coli translocation in isolated intestinal cells. This is Romanesco broccoli.

Researchers in Britain have discovered that fibre from broccoli reduces E. coli translocation in isolated intestinal cells. This is Romanesco broccoli.

Possible Problems With the Experiment

The British researchers used a low concentration of polysorbate 80 in their experiment. The concentration was equivalent to the amount that might be left in the intestine after digestion in an average person's gut. The actual concentration of the chemical in an individual's gut may be different, however. In addition, the test was done on isolated cells instead of on cells inside the body. Still, the results of the experiment are very interesting.

Candida albicans is a fungus that often lives in our gut. It generally exists as single cells but may grow as filaments. It's usually harmless but sometimes causes disease.

Candida albicans is a fungus that often lives in our gut. It generally exists as single cells but may grow as filaments. It's usually harmless but sometimes causes disease.

The Intestinal Microbiome and Its Importance

The human body contains about ten times more bacterial cells than human cells. Bacterial cells are smaller than human ones and tend to gather on the skin and in cavities in the body. Most are found in the large intestine, but some inhabit the small intestine instead or as well. Research suggests that our gut bacteria may have a profound effect on our lives.

About a hundred trillion individual microbes are thought to live in our gut. The microbes in our intestine are mainly bacteria, but some fungi and yeasts (a type of fungus) are present as well. Some of the bacteria produce chemicals that we need, such as vitamins. Other help us to digest food. Some appear to boost our immunity or help to control our weight. Others destroy dangerous bacteria that can cause disease. Researchers are discovering that gut bacteria may influence our bodies in additional ways. Any factor that affects the population of "good" bacteria adversely could also affect our health.

The Importance of Gut Flora

Gut Bacteria, Inflammation, and Metabolic Syndrome

Research at Georgia State University in the United States adds support to the idea that polysorbate 80 is bad for gut health. The researchers studied the effect of two common emulsifiers on gut bacteria and health in mice. These emulsifiers were polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose. The scientists gave the mice emulsifiers in an amount equivalent to that in an average human diet.

Change in Gut Bacteria

The researchers found that the composition of the gut bacteria in the mice fed emulsifiers changed and that more pro-inflammatory bacteria appeared. The new bacterial community had an enhanced ability to penetrate the mucus layer covering the cells of the intestinal lining. In addition, the new community made more flagellin and lipopolysaccharide, chemicals that can activate human genes which trigger inflammation.

Gut Inflammation and Metabolic Syndrome

Some of the mice fed the emulsifiers had been bred to have immune systems that made them more susceptible to gut inflammation. As a result of the emulsifier diet, these mice developed colitis, or inflammation of the colon. Very interestingly, the mice with normal immune systems developed mild colon inflammation from the emulsifier diet and also developed a disease known as metabolic syndrome, which involves a cluster of different disorders. (The syndrome is described below.)

Polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose alter the gut bacteria population in mice.

Polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose alter the gut bacteria population in mice.

Results of a Bacterial Transplant

The Georgia State researchers also fed emulsifiers to mice without bacteria in their intestine and found that the diet had no effect on the state of the gut. When they transplanted bacteria from emulsifier-treated mice into the sterile mice, they found that the sterile mice developed mild gut inflammation and some of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is a disease in which a mouse or a human experiences at least three of a group of five disorders. The disorders are as follows:

  • high fasting blood sugar
  • high serum triglycerides (fats)
  • high blood pressure
  • low HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol)
  • abdominal obesity.

The definition of "high"or "low" in each disorder is determined by a comparison with specific numbers. Metabolic syndrome is a serious condition because it increases the risk of heart problems and strokes. Any factor that increases the risk of the syndrome is undesirable.

A Doctor Describes Metabolic Syndrome

The Problem of Obesity

Researchers have found that obesity is a complex condition. It may not result simply from a person having weak willpower and eating too much food. The cause of obesity may be multifactorial. The Georgia State University scientists suspect that gut inflammation may be one of the factors responsible for the condition. If this is the case, then it's important that the inflammation is prevented, even if the disorder isn't painful.

We need to understand the causes of obesity because the condition is becoming more common in many parts of the world. Metabolic syndrome and obesity are also developing at a younger age and are even appearing in childhood. Researchers are currently talking about an "obesity epidemic".

A Food Additive Poll

Whole, unprocessed vegetables and fruits are important components of the diet.

Whole, unprocessed vegetables and fruits are important components of the diet.

Processed Food and Food Additives

A diet involving whole, unprocessed, or minimally processed foods is best for several reasons. One is that it's the diet that is most likely to be rich in nutrients. Another is that it lacks food additives, some of which may be harmful.

Removing polysorbate 80 from the diet or limiting its consumption may be only one step that is needed in the path towards improved health. More research is needed to investigate the chemical's behaviour in our body and to clarify any of its detrimental effects. There is ample evidence indicating that a healthy diet comprised of mainly unprocessed and natural foods is good for us, however. It seems like a good idea to follow this diet as often as possible, which will automatically decrease the amount of food additives that we consume.

References

  • Uses of Polysorbate 80 from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
  • M cell information from Colorado State University
  • Translocation of Escherichia coli from the BMJ (British Medical Journal)
  • Widely used food additives promote colitis, obesity, and metabolic syndrome from the Medical Xpress news service

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2015 Linda Crampton

Comments

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 17, 2017:

I appreciate your visit and comment, Scribenet. I think your idea of going back to basics with food is excellent! I like the idea of making ice cream at home, too.

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on April 17, 2017:

I often think going back to basics with food would be so much better... I have an ice cream maker...think I may have to dig it out and make my own...now I have a reason to make the effort!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 16, 2017:

I'm sorry about your problems with IBS. Polysorbate 80 is also known by its IUPAC name, which I've included in the article. I did some quick research and found that some companies refer to it as POE (20) sorbitan monooleate, Alkest TW 80, or Tween 80.

Me on April 15, 2017:

Perhaps I missed it but does Polysorbate 80 go by any other name? When I look into the ingredients list of food, will it show up as Polysorbate 80 or is it possible it is called something else? I've had IBS for 25 years and the last 4 months have been extremely bad. I recently did a Food Inflammation Test and Polysorbate 80 was in my Severe reaction list. I eat generally very healthy and have looked into the ingredients list and have not seen this present in anything I eat. Hoping it's not hiding under another name!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 02, 2016:

Thank you very much for the congratulations, Heidi. It's sad that people in your family have had Crohn's. It certainly is a horrible condition.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on February 02, 2016:

This was a truly interesting hub when you first published it a while back and definitely worthy of Hub of the Day. Congrats!

I've had family who had Crohn's. It is a very tough condition. Glad more research is being done in the area. Very informative!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 02, 2016:

Thank you for such a kind comment, Flourish! I appreciate it very much.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 02, 2016:

Terrific hub very deserving of HOTD. You rock, Linda!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 02, 2016:

Thank you very much for the second visit and the congrats, RTalloni!

RTalloni on February 02, 2016:

Back to say congrats on the Hub of the Day award and viva unprocessed foods!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 02, 2016:

Hi, Kristen. Thank you for the visit and the congratulations. I always appreciate your support!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 02, 2016:

Hi, gerimcclym. I try to eat an unprocessed diet as much as possible, but I do fail at times! Thank you very much for the comment.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on February 02, 2016:

Thanks for the comment, Rebecca. I appreciate your visit!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on February 02, 2016:

Linda, congrats on another HOTD! You seem to keep racking up those accolades! This was another interesting hub on you about this food additive and had it could be bad for your health. Thanks for sharing. I didn't know about this at all.

Geri McClymont on February 02, 2016:

I have been gravitating more and more towards an unprocessed/minimally processed diet in recent years and feel so much better in all aspects as a result. A very well-researched article; well-deserved HOTD.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on February 02, 2016:

A very interesting and well-done article. Very deserving of this award. I think we would be wise to steer clear of processed foods whenever possible. Thanks!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on December 16, 2015:

Thank you very much, jgshorebird.

jgshorebird on December 16, 2015:

Great info. Thanks. I'll be looking to avoid it now...

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 30, 2015:

Thank you very much for the lovely comment, drbj! I appreciate the vote as well.

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 30, 2015:

Another more than excellent explanation, Alicia, of the danger of food additives. I always appreciate learning from your thorough exploration of subjects that involve our bodies and our health. Thank you for this treat. Voted up of course.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 09, 2015:

Hi, poetryman6969. It certainly is a scary thought that what we put in our mouths may be hurting us instead of helping us. Thanks for the interesting comment.

poetryman6969 on April 09, 2015:

I had the fleeting thought: Isn't that funny, our food may be killing us. Then I thought, that isn't funny. That isn't funny at all.

I agree with those who observe that there is no minimum daily requirement for refined sugar.

Maybe we should feed corn fructose and soda pop to the hogs. Viva the Pork Protectorate in the People's Republic of Bacon! The pigs will save us from ourselves by eating all of our worst processed food.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on April 05, 2015:

Hi, Deb. Yes, diet and exercise are very important for health. The addition of whole and natural foods to the diet whenever this can be managed is a great idea. Thanks for the comment.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on April 05, 2015:

The final section of your article is most profound, along with the fact that sugars are also detrimental. Sugars cause yeast which mix with liquid, expand, create fat, etc. One of the worst things ever made was corn syrup, which is in so many things. I believe that if we eat more natural foods, cut recipe sugars in half, and use honey instead of sugar, which is more easily digestible, it will help combat obesity. It also helps to get outside more and EXERCISE. Excellent article.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 28, 2015:

Thank you, Shades-of-truth. Additives not found in nature can be very worrying. Some are useful, but others seem unnecessary.

Emily Tack from USA on March 28, 2015:

Great article! There seems to be no end to the problems caused by additives to our food; additives that are not commonly found in nature.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 26, 2015:

Making ice cream at home is a great idea. It's good to be able to control the ingredients in a treat. Thanks for the comment, travel man1971.

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on March 26, 2015:

We are what we eat, as this food jargon (probably health alert or reminder) circulates in the minds of many people.

I like ice cream, but I am making a home-made one from time-to-time and I use egg as natural emulsifier.

With this routine, I can avoid the worst effects of indulging into commercialized 'sweet products' like ice cream.

Thanks for sharing this info. It helps.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 21, 2015:

Best wishes to you and your mother, Cynthia.

Cynthia Hoover from Newton, West Virginia on March 21, 2015:

Thank you! They are going to attempt a new treatment. Sadly surgery is the best option at this point, she is just far to sick for them to attemp it at this point.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 21, 2015:

This is such a sad story, Cynthia. I hope that better treatments are found for Crohn's disease very soon and that your mother finds some relief.

Cynthia Hoover from Newton, West Virginia on March 21, 2015:

It is a long time. She is for the most part bedfast and is dependant on adult diapers. I remember when I was younger she did much better with non processed foods, yet it became to expensive to afford after an accident left her unable to work any longer. She is in and out of the hospital these days.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 21, 2015:

Thank you so much for the comment, votes and share, Cynthia! I'm sorry about your mother's condition. 35 years is a long time to suffer from Crohn's disease.

Cynthia Hoover from Newton, West Virginia on March 21, 2015:

Wonderful article! My mother has been suffering with Crohns for over 35 years. Very well written hub! Voted up, shared, useful a d interesting!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 20, 2015:

Thank you, Babbyii. I certainly agree - what we don't know can hurt us!

Barb Johnson from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula on March 20, 2015:

Thanks for the in depth research for this article Alicia! What we don't know can hurt us more than we realize.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 19, 2015:

Hi, Learn Things Web. I'm sorry to hear about another person with Crohn's. It's a horrible disorder. I wish your husband luck.

Learn Things Web from California on March 19, 2015:

My husband has Crohn's, so I'll definitely be checking for this. He doesn't eat a lot of processed foods anymore, so he may not be getting much exposure to it.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 19, 2015:

Hi, Tricia. Yes, unlisted ingredients can be an annoying and sometimes unpleasant problem! Thank you for the comment.

Tricia Deed on March 19, 2015:

A well written and informative article. I too limit using products with certain additives. However, I still find that the food manufacturers sneak ingredients into our foods which are not listed on the label.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 19, 2015:

Thank you for the visit and the comment, B. Leekley.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 19, 2015:

Thank you very much for the lovely comment and the congrats, Heidi!

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on March 19, 2015:

Good to know.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on March 19, 2015:

Congrats on having this hub featured on today's email from HP! Thanks for always providing great insight and info!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 18, 2015:

Thank you very much, ajtyne! I appreciate your comment a great deal.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 18, 2015:

I'm so sorry that you have Crohn's disease, Barbara. I hope you find relief from the symptoms very soon. Thank you for the visit.

AJ from North Carolina on March 18, 2015:

Excellent article! You've made this subject more interesting, more vital and more real than most all of the articles and stories I've seen. You broke it down and explained it, rather than just "shouting" it's not good for you as so many do! Thanks.

Barbara Badder from USA on March 18, 2015:

I have Crohns disease. I'll have to check for this in the foods that I am eating. At the rate I am going, I think I may need to make and grow all of our food.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 18, 2015:

Hi, Mel. Thank you very much for the comment! I hope you don't have any problems with food additives.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 18, 2015:

I've had a similar experience to you, BarbRad. I try to stay away from very sweet food except for treats, but often when I try the treat I don't like it because it's too sweet. Chocolate is a special case, though!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 18, 2015:

Thanks again, Peggy! I appreciate your comment and all your support very much.

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on March 18, 2015:

I wish you had an answer on your poll that was in the past tense, because although food additives didn't bother me in the past, now that I've read this I'm worried because it explains a lot of things. Great research and great hub!

Barbara Radisavljevic from Templeton, CA on March 18, 2015:

I try to eat foods in as close to their natural state as possible, but I don't have time to cook everything from scratch. I find the longer I stay away from junk foods I used to enjoy, the less I like them when I try them again. Now if I could just get rid of my taste for chocolate.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 18, 2015:

This gives us even more reason to cook whole foods at home and know what we are ingesting. Very informative hub! Will be sharing this as well as tweeting, G+ and pinning.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 18, 2015:

Hi, Mary. Yes, it is hard to avoid processed food completely. I think the effort is worthwhile, though! Thank you very much for the comment, votes and share.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 18, 2015:

Thank you very much, chef-de-jour. I appreciate the comment, vote and share!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on March 18, 2015:

I have to agree: it is scary when we learn about all the additives we consumers consume in our food. Most of it is FDMA approved, too. We just take our chances.

I try to avoid processed foods, but it's tough to do.

Great Hub with lots of research done!

Voted UP, etc. and shared.

Andrew Spacey from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK on March 18, 2015:

You've done some great research Alicia and provided useful information on the thorny issue of food additives. What with E numbers and colourings and flavourings this subject area is a minefield - you have made it easier to get through. A well constructed quality article.

Voted up and sharing.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 17, 2015:

Thank you so much, Audrey! I appreciate your kind comment, the share and the pin a great deal.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on March 17, 2015:

Excellent hub Alicia! I try to avoid all processed foods. Being a vegetarian I never eat meat. You've provided important information and displayed great photos. A super job and I will share and pin. Thanks.

Audrey

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 17, 2015:

Thank you very much for the comment and the vote, Vellur.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on March 17, 2015:

Interesting and informative article, never knew about this till I read your hub. Voted up.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 13, 2015:

Thank you, Larry! I appreciate your visit and comment.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on March 13, 2015:

Very informative. Great read!

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 13, 2015:

This sounds like an excellent plan, Catherine! Thank you for the comment.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on March 13, 2015:

Most of the food I eat is cooked from scratch from fresh ingredients. Fortunately, I do not have any of the diseases you mentioned. I read the labels on processed foods (such as crackers) and avoid any with ingredients I don't readily recognize as food.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 13, 2015:

Hi, Flourish. Extra creamy chocolate ice cream is delicious! Food additives certainly do have benefits as well as disadvantages. Thanks for the visit.

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 13, 2015:

Ugh. I have always reached for the extra creamy chocolate ice cream, and now you have me rethinking it. Where did we get the idea that all these additives were good things?

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 12, 2015:

Thank you very much, Bill. Yes, food additives are troubling. They are so widespread in the food that's sold in stores today!

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on March 12, 2015:

Hi Linda. What an education, thank you. We do try to avoid foods with additives but it becomes impossible to read every label. We do our best. It is troubling what they put in our foods. Great job.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 12, 2015:

Thank you very much for the comment and the vote, Rachel. Blessings to you, too!

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on March 12, 2015:

I never gave food additives much thought before, but I will now. Thank you for all the work you put into this hub. I voted up.

Blessings to you.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 12, 2015:

Thank you very much for the comment, RTalloni. I appreciate your visit.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 12, 2015:

Hi, Peg. Yes, polysorbate 80 is widely used and is in many products. It can be eye opening to see how common it is! Thanks for the visit and the comment.

RTalloni on March 12, 2015:

So informative with good practical advice for sufferers and for those who want to avoid potential health complications. Thanks for the lesson and conclusions.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 12, 2015:

Hi, Bill. Yes, it is challenging to avoid food additives completely. It would certainly require a major change in diet and lifestyle for many people! Thanks for the visit.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 12, 2015:

Hi, Lady Lorelei. I often wish that we'd just leave nature alone, too! That's not always practical when food is shipped long distances and stored, but we should probably be eating more local food anyway. Thank you very much for the comment.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on March 12, 2015:

This information is so important in understanding food additives. You've really presented it in an understandable manner and explained it well. I've started reading food labels and see that Polysorbate 80 is in quite a few items. I need to make some dietary changes.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on March 12, 2015:

Always a fascinating and informative read. We are careful what we buy, but it is practically impossible to avoid all additives. :)

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on March 12, 2015:

The science used in altering a food is by no means ever fully researched. GMOs, toxic chemicals, any modifying of our food sources is simply not working and our health proves it. I wish man would just leave nature alone. Glad you mentioned broccoli here as I have been eating it daily for the past few weeks and really do notice a difference in my health. Excellent article on a product I would not have put much thought on previously. You opened my eyes on another food modification I had not realized was being done.

Linda Crampton (author) from British Columbia, Canada on March 11, 2015:

Thank you very much, Faith! I appreciate your kind comment, your votes and your shares so much, as I always do.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on March 11, 2015:

You have certainly put in a ton of work on this informative hub. It seems everything we eat has food additives. This is another eye-opener of a hub.

Yes, let's stick with a healthy diet comprised of mainly unprocessed, natural foods.

Up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

Stellar work!