Food additives creep into our daily diet in some form or another. Frozen foods, packaged foods, desserts and even pickles contain some additional artificial agents to increase the edibility of the food. Food additives are added to improve taste, colour, shelf life, texture and a host of other qualities to make the food more appealing and appetising. There's no doubt that these food additives enhance our eating experience but what we may not realise is that they harm our health at the same time. This hard fact has been confirmed by some health specialists. A recently conducted research claims that consuming food additives and other such impure cooking ingredients regularly may deteriorate heart health by hardening arteries of the heart.
(Also Read: 5 Side Effects Of Preservatives You Must Know About)
The study that was published in the Journal of Hypertension states that arterial stiffening leads to heart problems and in some extreme cases, may even lead to death. But the factors that lead to hardened arteries have not been interpreted well enough till now. However, a credible way of doing the same has been discovered - metabolomics.
Metabolomics is the process of studying metabolites, which are born whenever there is a transfer of energy in the body. Metabolites are said to contribute in regulating the body's systems and functions. If there's a drop in bodily health due to environmental factors like pollution, chemicals, smoking, food adulteration; it can be easily ascertained by measuring the level of metabolites in the body.
Changwei Li, author of the study remarked, "Metabolomics can accurately measure the amount of exposures entering the body. In this study, we identified many metabolites related to coffee drinking, alcohol drinking, Southern foods, dietary supplements, and even pesticides."
(Also Read: 8 Most Essential Nutrients For A Healthy Heart)
The researchers studied and analysed participant blood samples for traces of environmental exposures that firm up the arteries. Li revealed, "We were able to identify some environmental and lifestyle related-metabolites, build metabolite networks to shown how the body reacts to the environmental exposures, and more importantly, tested the effect of those metabolites on arterial stiffness." In all, 27 new metabolites were found to have a relationship with arterial stiffness and many of them were food additives and cooking ingredients. The metabolites were also associated with other known risk factors of arterial hardening like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
The findings have paved way for further study of the role of metabolites in hardening of arteries. This may help in causing awareness about how certain changes in everyday diet and grocery shopping can fight heart disorders.
(With Inputs From ANI)