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May 14, 2021
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Food dyes can cause colitis due to dysregulated immunity

In a new study, scientists have observed the effect of two of the most common craters, Red 40 and Allura Red and Yellow 6. They are among the most common food colorings.

For the study, scientists bred mice in which the regulation of the IL-23 gene is disrupted. This gene is responsible for the synthesis of interleukin-23, which plays a role in the mechanisms of inflammation. Previously, it was known that in humans, such a violation is associated with the risk of developing inflammatory bowel diseases – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Medicines that block IL-23 function? have demonstrated efficacy against these diseases.

Contrary to what scientists expected, mice with a disruption in the IL-23 gene did not develop inflammatory bowel disease on their own. But when the rodents were fed a diet of charming red and sunset yellow, they developed colitis (inflammation of the large intestine), unlike healthy mice in the control group.

In another experiment, gene-disrupted mice received various foods without artificial colors. In this case, they did not get colitis.

The development of colitis in mice depended on the presence of bacteria in their intestines that are able to break down dyes – E. Faecalis and B. Ovatus.

Scientists point out that more than 200 genes are associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease. In addition, it is believed that its risk is increased by external factors, but they are still questionable. Artificial colors may be one of those factors. However, whether people react to them in the same way is currently unknown.

“The dramatic change in the concentration of pollutants in water and air, the increase in the use of processed foods and food additives in the human diet over the past century has been correlated with an increase in the incidence of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. These changes are believed to contribute to the development of these diseases, but relatively little is known about how they do it. We hope this study is a step towards understanding the impact of food on human health, ”said Sergio Lira of Mount Sinai Hospital, co-author of the study.


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