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Why Calcium Propionate Is Strongly Linked to Diabetes and Autism

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

propionate linked to diabetes autism

Story at-a-glance -

  • Propionate is a metabolic byproduct of microbial fermentation in your gut, but the addition of calcium propionate in food may create an imbalance in gut microbiota, triggering altered neurobehavior and insulin resistance
  • Calcium propionate is designated as generally recognized as safe (GRAS); however, the law permits food manufacturers to make their own safety determinations to allow chemicals under this designation
  • While food additives have little safety testing to begin with, there is growing evidence health concerns may be greater than anticipated when chemicals are consumed in combination
  • A strong gut microbiome is an important foundational strategy to maintaining optimal health; physical and mental health are affected by the diversity of bacteria growing in your gut

The degree to which a food has been altered during preparation lies on a continuum. Anything not directly harvested from the vine, ground, bush or tree has undergone some degree of processing. Processing may be as basic as freezing, canning or drying, or it may involve ultra-processing where food is significantly altered — foods you may typically purchase at a gas station.

Unfortunately, Americans not only eat a preponderance of processed foods, but 57.9% is ultra-processed. A study in 2013 found health care costs associated with Type 2 diabetes were $140 billion as compared to $90 billion for tobacco products, and diabetes is directly linked to a processed food diet.


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