Recent Blog Articles

Staying Healthy

Food ingredients under the microscope

September 01, 2019

At least one additive — a preservative called propionate — could be linked to diabetes and obesity.

w0919a16207259562307

Scientists are giving food additives and other ingredients more scrutiny these days, thanks to new technology that allows them to get an up-close view of how individual molecules affect the body. And they are already discovering some surprising information that could change what you put on your plate in the future.

Consider propionate, or propionic acid, a naturally oc-curring fatty acid and a common preservative found in everything from bread and animal feeds to pudding and cheese. A study published online April 24 by Science Translational Medicine found that this ingredient may disrupt the metabolism, triggering the body to produce excess glucose (blood sugar), which could lead to diabetes and obesity.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.