Your immunity has a very strong association with your immune system. What you eat and your choice of food can either make your immune system strong or it can make it weak. That is why doctors always insist that you follow a balanced and nutritious diet. Now a new study from the US-based Environmental Working Group says that a common food preservative that is routinely used to prolong the shelf life of popular eatables like Pop-Tarts, Rice Krispies Treats, Cheez-Its and almost 1,250 other popular processed foods may harm the immune system. The preservative to blame for this is tert-butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ. It has been found to harm the immune system in both animal tests and in non-animal tests known as high-throughput in vitro toxicology testing. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health published this study.
What exactly is TBHQ?
TBHQ is a preservative that is pervasive in processed foods. It has been used in foods for many decades and serves no function besides increasing a product’s shelf life.
It affects immune cell proteins
Using new non-animal test results, the researchers found that TBHQ affected immune cell proteins at doses similar to those that cause harm in traditional studies. The findings are important because, as the researcheers say, the COVID-19 pandemic has focused public and scientific attention on environmental factors that can impact the immune system. Before the pandemic, chemicals that may harm the immune system’s defense against infection or cancer did not receive sufficient attention from public health agencies. To protect public health, this must change, they add.
This preservative can increase food allergies too
For the purpose of the study, the researchers used data from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxicity Forecaster, or ToxCast, to assess the health hazards of the most common chemicals added to food, as well as the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, which can migrate to food from packaging. They analyzed all publicly available studies that show how PFAS migrate to food from packaging materials or processing equipment. Earlier studies have found that TBHQ might influence how well flu vaccines work and may be linked to a rise in food allergies.
Foods to avoid if you want a strong immune system
We all know that eating nutritious foods will make our immune system strong. Fruits and veggies come first in the list of foods that are good for immunity. These foods contain essential minerals and vitamins that help your body fight off invading pathogens, keeping you safe from infections and diseases. But there are some foods that can lower your immunity. You need to stay away from such foods. Processed foods come first in this list. Carbonated beverages, sugary foods and refined carbs are also not good for your immune system.
(With inputs from IANS)
Published : March 29, 2021 7:30 pm | Updated:March 29, 2021 7:33 pm
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