SOME of the ingredients hidden in your favorite foods could increase your risk of fatal heart disease.
Emulsifiers – so-called E numbers – are used to make foods such as ice cream, snacks and ready meals last longer and taste better.
The author of the study, Dr. Bernard Srour, urged people to “reduce” the amount of highly processed foods they eat to stay healthy.
Heart disease, which includes events such as heart attacks and heart failure, kills over 160,000 people in the UK each year.
The French study, which involved over 100,000 adults, found that different E numbers can trigger different heart problems, including stroke and coronary artery disease, which affects the arteries.
Previous studies have shown that the additives can destroy “good” gut bacteria and increase inflammation; This may make people more susceptible to heart problems.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that adults who ate more foods high in additives found in fatty foods, such as margarine and sausages, had a higher risk of stroke.
While baked goods like croissants increased the risk of coronary artery disease.
Scientists asked them about their diet, took their vital signs, and asked them to report any heart problems.
The participants were then followed up after seven years.
dr Srour acknowledged that the study found little association between E numbers and heart disease.
However, he said the findings are still important because these food additives are “ubiquitously used in thousands” of widely available highly processed food products.
“The results will contribute to the reassessment of regulations on the use of food additives in the food industry to protect consumers,” he added.
Meanwhile, he suggested that people should “reduce consumption of highly processed foods to avoid exposure to emulsifiers and other food additives.”