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Insulin resistance in humans can trigger a food preservative

Propionate is a naturally occurring short-chain fatty acid that can be useful for our inner health. It’s also added to meals to stop mould formation and is extensively used as a preservative in pastries, animal feeds and artificial flavors. Harvard scientists have lately warned that propionate could also be a trigger that leads to insulin resistance. The consumption of propionate in food appears to extend the number of hormones associated with the danger of obesity and diabetes.

In an effort to raised understand how propionate impacts well being, researchers, led by Harvard T.H. The Chan Public Well being Faculty (in collaboration with Brigham and the Ladies's Hospital and researchers at Sheba Medical Middle in Israel) carried out a research

”Understanding how food components affect physique metabolism at molecular and mobile levels might help us develop simple but effective measures to fight double obesity and diabetes epidemics. , stated Gökhan S. Hotamışlıgil, James Stevens Simmons, Professor of Genetics and Metabolism and Sabri Ülker Metabolic Research Middle at Harvard Chan Faculty.

revealed online in Science Translational Drugs, mixed knowledge from randomized placebo-controlled studies in humans and mouse studies. The outcomes confirmed that propionate can trigger a metabolism of torrents resulting in insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, a condition characterised by excessive insulin levels. The research additionally found that persistent propionate exposure to mice resulted in weight achieve and insulin resistance.

Harvard researchers call propionate "a hidden metabolism agent" and the dose used to delay shelf life and keep satisfactory food for adequate multiplication. Hormonal Response.1

The speed of improve in diabetes and obesity during the last 50 years exhibits that environmental and dietary elements should affect the growth of this epidemic. Researchers have recommended that dietary elements, together with components used in the manufacture or preservation of food, may be an necessary factor, however till just lately these molecules are scarce evaluated


As a result of more than 400 million individuals worldwide endure from diabetes, and The prevalence of diabetes is predicted to extend by 40% by 2040, although efforts to curb the disease are a actual cause for concern.

“The dramatic increase in obesity and diabetes over the past 50 years suggests that factors affecting the environment and nutrition are involved. One such factor that requires attention is the ingredients of ordinary foods. We are exposed to hundreds of these chemicals daily, and most have not been tested in detail for their potential long-term metabolic effects, says Amir Tirosh, Professor of Medicine at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Medical School, Director of Endocrinology Department at Isba Sheba Medical Center and Researcher at Harvard Chan School1

To begin the study, the researchers first gave propionate to the mice and found that it quickly activates the sympathetic nervous system (which corresponds to the "battle or flight response"). This resulted in the rise of hormones, such as glucagon, noreprenefin, and a recently discovered glycogenogenic hormone called fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4). This caused the mice to produce more glucose from their liver cells, resulting in hyperglycemia – a defining feature of diabetes. The researchers also found that when mice were treated with a chronic dose of propionate equal to the amount typically consumed by humans, it resulted in significant weight gain and insulin resistance in mice.


wanted to determine how the results obtained by mice can turn to humans. To this end, the researchers established a double-blind placebo-controlled study of 14 healthy participants. Participants were randomized into two groups. Group 1 received a meal containing one gram of propionate as an additive, and group 2 was given a meal containing a placebo. They collected blood samples before a meal within 15 minutes of eating a meal and then every 30 minutes for four hours.

The results of the study showed that from group 1 (using a meal containing propionate), participants had a significant increase in Nor epinephrine and an increase in glucagon and FABP4 shortly after eating a meal. This result indicates that propionate can act as a "metabolic disorder" that is likely to increase the risk of diabetes and obesity in humans.


It should be noted that hyperglycemia (abnormally high insulin levels) and hyperinsulinemia (very high insulin levels) observed after exposure to externally administered propionate (during the study) are significantly in conflict with the beneficial metabolic effects of internally produced propionate. along with other short chain fatty acids (SCFA) that are present in our body. In the colon, these short chain fatty acid molecules are produced primarily by unfermented carbohydrates and have several health benefits such as post-meal fullness and reduced body weight and fat. However, in this study, it was found that in overweight and obese studies, higher amounts of propionate, passed by its intestinal drug driver, were found compared to low fat participants. They also found that administration of propionate resulted in increased triglycerides and reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol.


People are unfortunately exposed to increasing amounts of propionate through preserved processed food consumption. artificial aromas. Thus, in order to ensure the relevance of the research results of their researchers so far, the researchers planned a second study to assess the metabolic effects of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, human consumption of propionate


The researchers recruited 14 lean and healthy participants and randomized them into two groups. Participants fasted for 8 hours and then some were given a mixed meal of 1 g of calcium propionate, also known as E282 (this 1 g dose of propionate corresponds to the most common amount that people consume with a meal meal). and others were given a mixed meal without propionate. A week later, the participants again received a similar mixed meal after moving groups. Blood samples were collected just before the meal, within 15 minutes of the meal, and then continuously collected every 30 minutes over the next 4 hours. They found that this nominal dose of propionate led to a significant increase in glucose in the blood after a meal

In the same way as in the original observations in mice, the propionate-containing meal consumed by 14 lean and healthy participants resulted in a significant increase in plasma norepinephrine ("fight or flight response", as mentioned above in mice). ) and both glucagon (a hormone that tends to increase the concentration of glucose and fatty acids in the bloodstream) and recently found a glucogenogenic hormone called fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4); compared to placebo. Hormones that act on the rise in insulin action (and increase blood glucose levels in response to low blood sugar) in a meal containing propionate resulted in a severe reduction in post-meal sensitivity


”For propionate for human consumption, the dose used to delay shelf life and keep food was enough to repeat the hormonal response to acute propionate publicity noticed in mice. As well as, persistent exposure of mice to a corresponding day by day dose of propionate led to a rise in insulin counter-regulator hormones, glucagon and FABP4, plasma levels, and improvement of insulin resistance, hyperinsulinaemia, and gradual weight achieve. The significance of propionate for insulin resistance and obesity in humans was also steered in a giant, long-term weight loss plan intervention research (DIRECT), in which the discount in plasma propionate in response to weight reduction was independently associated with improved insulin sensitivity. “1

In addition, the researchers wisely state in their research that there are alternatives that could be used to conserve food, which would benefit public health, such as vinegar, essential oils and wheat starches. They also warn that repeated daily exposure to propionate used in food production and long-term preparation can have a significant impact on public health with regard to possible actions and mechanisms of propionate in the human body:

that the US Food and Drug Administration has declared that propionate is generally recognized as safe without anything there are no limitations to its exploitation at present, except in accordance with good manufacturing practice. Here we report that exogenous propionate leads to rapid activation of the sympathetic nervous system, leading to both glucagon and FABP4 growth. The proliferation of these two fasting hormones in the postprandial state drives better endogenous glucose production, probably due to glycogenolysis, leading to hyperglycemia and compensatory hyperinsulinemia. ”1

The US Food and Drug Administration usually acknowledges propionate as protected. We definitely hope that these new findings justify persevering with analysis and research on propionate and potential options that might be used in food production.

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