The following article, which I wrote, first appeared on MultipleSclerosisNewsToday.com.
Processed foods have been added to the list of “no-no” items that we are not supposed to eat if you, like me, are unfortunate enough to have MS. We were already warned against gluten, salt and various other ingredients in our diet; now it’s processed foods and additives.
This is because research says that additives commonly used in processed foods can cause damage to the intestinal tolerance and immunity balance. This appears to be a knock-on effect of the food additives seriously harming the tight junctions that protect the intestinal mucosa, also called the gastric mucosa, which is the lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
The immunity balance is important as it works to prevent multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.
As the incidence of autoimmune disease continues to rise around the world, according to a variety of authorities, so both processed food and food additive industries continue to grow.
Professor Aaron Lerner, of the Technion Faculty of Medicine and Carmel Medical Center, in Haifa, Israel, and a lead author of the study that led to this latest warning, said: “In recent decades there has been a decrease in incidence of infectious diseases but, at the same time, there has been an increase in the incidence of allergic diseases, cancer and autoimmune diseases.
“Since the weight of genetic changes is insignificant in such a short period, the scientific community is searching for the causes at the environmental level,” he said.
Avoid Processed Foods
The result of the study: “Changes in intestinal tight junction permeability associated with industrial food additives explain the rising incidence of autoimmune disease,” was published in the journal Autoimmunity Reviews.
Now, I am an MS patient with knowledge of the disease at that level, so there is no way I am qualified to plough through all the technical scientific language. However, I can say that with all the information gathered on this subject, the researchers recommend that autoimmune disease patients, and their family members, avoid processed foods as much as possible.
“Control and enforcement agencies, such as the U.S.A.’s Food and Drug Administration, stringently supervise the pharmaceutical industry, but the food additive market remains unsupervised enough. We hope this study and similar studies increase awareness about the dangers inherent in industrial food additives and raise awareness about the need for control over them,” Professor Lerner concluded.
Anyone for dinner? Nothing processed, though.