Consumption of propionate, a food ingredient that’s widely used in baked goods, animal feeds, and artificial flavorings, appears to increase levels of several hormones that are associated with risk of obesity and diabetes, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in collaboration with researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Sheba Medical Center in Israel.
The study, which combined data from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in humans and mouse studies, indicated that propionate can trigger a cascade of metabolic events that leads to insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia — a condition marked by excessive levels of insulin. The findings also showed that in mice, chronic exposure to propionate resulted in weight gain and insulin resistance.
The study was published online in Science Translational Medicine on April 24.Friday Letter Submission