24 food additives that can cause digestive disorders

24 food additives that can cause digestive disorders 1

E407, E492, E421, E1200… It is found in many culinary preparations. However, some food additives can cause digestive disorders. Explanations.

Bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, stomach aches… Sophie Janvier, dietician nutritionist alerts on the effects of certain substances present in our diet and responsible for digestive disorders. Zoom on these additives, which we must avoid putting on our plates!

Digestive disorders: what impact can food additives have on our intestinal transit?

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Preservatives, dyes, flavor enhancers, thickeners, emulsifiers… Many food additives are found in our daily diet. Although their presence is allowed in culinary preparations, these substances are not without danger to our health. Their long-term consumption or in excess can be associated with the development of pathologies such as certain cancers.

But as Sophie Janvier points out in a recent post on her Instagram account, food additives can also be the cause of digestive disorders.

“The presence of additives most often testifies that we are facing an ultra-processed product. However, overconsumption of ultra-processed products promotes disruptions of our microbiota, with the eventual possibility of triggering digestive disorders,” she says.

Another problem raised with these food additives: some are actually FODMAPs, “carbohydrates that ferment in the colon, resulting in the production of painful gases”.

For all these reasons, food additives should be monitored, especially in people prone to digestive disorders or who suffer from chronic pathologies associated with:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Endometriosis…

Beware of emulsifiers that can unbalance the intestinal flora

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“We must be particularly wary of certain emulsifiers. Laboratory studies on mice have shown that these texturizers deplete our intestinal flora and increase the risk of developing chronic inflammatory bowel disease,” warns the dietician nutritionist.

However, these emulsifiers, pointed out, are found in many industrial products, as the specialist deplores: in pastries, biscuits, prepared dishes, sauces …

On food product labels, Sophie Janvier recommends paying particular attention to the following emulsifiers:

  • E407, Carrageenans
  • E435, Polysorbates
  • E471, Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids
  • E 472e, Monoacetyltartaric and diacetyltartaric esters
  • E473, Polyglyceric esters of fatty acids
  • E 475, Fatty acid sucroesters
  • E481, Sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate
  • E 482, Calcium stearoyl-2-lactylate
  • E 491, Sorbitum Monsterate
  • E492, Sorbitum Tristerate
  • E493, Sorbitum Monolorate
  • E494, Sorbitum Monooleate
  • E495, Sorbitum Monopalmitate

Irritable bowel syndrome, water retention… Additives to watch out for

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“Other additives are not classified as harmful by EFSA, the European health authority “but they are nevertheless likely to cause intestinal discomfort, especially in people who suffer from irritable bowel,” warns the specialist.

It refers in particular to polyols, carbohydrates that ferment in the intestine (which are part of the FODMAPs).

These polyols, which are used in the food industry as sweeteners or humectants, can cause different types of inconvenience, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Flatulence

Sophie Janvier also explains that these additives can promote water retention, and therefore can in some cases be responsible for diarrhea.

The additives in question to be monitored:

  • E965, Maltitol
  • E421, Mannitol
  • E420, Sorbitol
  • E96, Xylitol
  • E953, Isomalt

Other substances categorized as FODMAPs, rich in fructose, can cause digestive disorders:

  • Fructose
  • Fructose syrup
  • Glucose-fructose syrup
  • Corn syrup

Finally, Sophie Janvier warns of another category of additives and ultra-processed ingredients that can “alter the composition of the microbiota when consumed in excess and that can promote intestinal inflammation”.

These are:

  • Dextrises/polydextroses (E1200)
  • Maltodextrins

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