Artificial butter flavoring ingredient linked to key Alzheimer’s disease process


August 1, 2012
Brain & Behavior, Health

A new study raises concern about chronic exposure of workers in industry to a food flavoring ingredient used to produce the distinctive buttery flavor and aroma of microwave popcorn, margarines, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods and other products. It found evidence that the ingredient, diacetyl (DA), intensifies the damaging effects of an abnormal brain protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. The study appears in ACS’ journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Artificial butter flavoring ingredient linked to key Alzheimers disease processRobert Vince and colleagues Swati More and Ashish Vartak explain that DA has been the focus of much research recently because it is linked to respiratory and other problems in workers at microwave popcorn and food-flavoring factories. DA gives microwave popcorn its distinctive buttery taste and aroma. DA also forms naturally in fermented beverages such as beer, and gives some chardonnay wines a buttery taste. Vince’s team realized that DA has an architecture similar to a substance that makes beta-amyloid proteins clump together in the brain — clumping being a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. So they tested whether DA also could clump those proteins.

DA did increase the level of beta-amyloid clumping. At real-world occupational exposure levels, DA also enhanced beta-amyloid’s toxic effects on nerve cells growing in the laboratory. Other lab experiments showed that DA easily penetrated the so-called “blood-brain barrier,” which keeps many harmful substances from entering the brain. DA also stopped a protective protein called glyoxalase I from safeguarding nerve cells. “In light of the chronic exposure of industry workers to DA, this study raises the troubling possibility of long-term neurological toxicity mediated by DA,” say the researchers.




Artificial butter flavoring ingredient linked to key Alzheimers disease process

29 Responses to Artificial butter flavoring ingredient linked to key Alzheimer’s disease process

  1. Natural Personal Lubricant September 15, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    My partner and I stumbled over here from a different web address and thought I might as well check things out.
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  2. Popcorn Lover August 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

    agree, i eat many bags of pop corn with no mentil preblems.

  3. Nick August 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    It contains no*

  4. Nick August 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm #

    Yes, it is stated specifically on the box that it contains to diacetyl compounds

  5. MonkeeRench August 2, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Are you very certain? A plethora of unknowns can be under the label “natural and artificial flavors” Diacetyl, like monosodium glutamate, can be interpreted to be “natural.”

  6. Nick August 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    The ironic part is that there is no diacetyl in the pictured product (Orville Redenbacher’s).

  7. ggg August 2, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

    Thanks! But, I was looking for the actual, scientific publication, itself. Found it at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22731744/

  8. ggg August 2, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    There is also several factual misstatements by the author of this Science blog article. Notably, “At real-world occupational exposure levels, DA also enhanced beta-amyloid’s toxic effects on nerve cells growing in the laboratory.” SH-SY5Y cells (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SH-SY5Y) are not neurons or “nerve cells” grown in culture. That would be dissociated neuronal culture (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultured_neuronal_network), which the authors did not use.

  9. ggg August 2, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    For those who would like to review the results of the paper being referenced by this article you can find it at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22731744/

    The evidence seems suggestive at best, and frankly a little dubious given all the experiments were done in vitro. No Alzheimer’s disease animal models were used.

  10. Ryan August 2, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    The population is growing, not shrinking and there is a sucker born every minute. There is no shortage of people willing to ingest good tasting items while knowingly sacrificing their health.

  11. George August 2, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Brian,

    If that was true then they should be very concerned about our health since our continued good health is required to continue to buy their products and if they are found to be selling dangerous products they would be in financial ruin. It is easy to make foolish accusations with little or no proof to back it up. The US food supply is the safest it has been in history. Fools like you would like us to revert back to a system where per capital deaths from food born illness was 10 times what it is today!

  12. Barry August 2, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    I have to think…how many bags of popcorn did I pop and eat….how many? And how many does it take to make these problems happen….1? 3? 10? Is that why I miss letters typing on this keyboard? Is that why I think I’m typing one word and type out another quite a bit of the time? I looked over this posting and found four errors to correct after I read it. Is this the begining of some serious mental problems for me?
    Thanks microwave popcorn…no more of my money.

  13. a August 2, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Could NOT care less.

  14. Brian August 2, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    Don’t fool yourself, the food industry for the most part could care less about our health, they are focused on our wallets.

  15. Darla August 2, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    Let’s not forget that even though they are exposed to larger amounts, they are working with the stuff–not eating it. Just handling it can increase the risk? That’s kind of scary.

    Clearly being studied and approved does not mean it is safe.

    Time to tighten up the definition of food, people!

  16. Alex August 2, 2012 at 4:50 am #

    The actual paper: Swati S. More, Ashish P. Vartak, Robert Vince. The Butter Flavorant, Diacetyl, Exacerbates β-Amyloid Cytotoxicity. Chemical Research in Toxicology, 2012; : 120706140246003 DOI: 10.1021/tx3001016

  17. Mightbstupidbut August 2, 2012 at 4:23 am #

    What about the really bad stuff for u at the movie theatre. I only eat half of a small cuz then I’m sick, but it sure tastes good.

  18. Tatu August 2, 2012 at 3:28 am #

    Beer! You have betrayed me for the last time!!

  19. theshiznit August 2, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    Derpa werd

  20. Me2 August 2, 2012 at 1:59 am #

    But we do know what’s in our food which is why we can say that it’s found in “microwave popcorn, margarines, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods and other products”. Food additives need to be studied and approved safe before they can go into our food. If evidence later shows they are unsafe then they will be removed from our food.

    The other important consideration is that, as always, it’s all a matter of dose. The fact that this is in our food probably raises a the risk of Alzheimer’s by a negligible amount. This study is aimed at chronic exposure to large amounts of DA, not the amounts that we would be getting from food.

  21. Fiachra August 2, 2012 at 12:54 am #

    “The Butter Flavorant, Diacetyl, Exacerbates ß-Amyloid Cytotoxicity” Chem. Res. Toxicol., Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/tx3001016
    From: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-artificial-butter-flavoring-ingredient-linked.html#jCp

    Read more at http://scienceblog.com/55899/artificial-butter-flavoring-ingredient-linked-to-key-alzheimers-disease-process/comment-page-1/#tlAA1i7v7LiR2qxi.99

  22. Fiachra August 2, 2012 at 12:52 am #

    @ggg

    “The Butter Flavorant, Diacetyl, Exacerbates ß-Amyloid Cytotoxicity” Chem. Res. Toxicol., Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/tx3001016

    From: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-08-artificial-butter-flavoring-ingredient-linked.html#jCp

  23. ggg August 2, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    Anyone know the link to the actual article being referenced by this story? Would be nice to check it out. Should be somewhere on pubmed.

  24. Mungo chops August 2, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    double wurd, derp

  25. Me August 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    This is what you get for not demanding to know what is in your food. If you think there is only one chemical that does this sort of shit, you are crazy.

  26. Sam August 1, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    I can’t believe it’s not…..
    Ehhh….
    What was it again?

  27. Josh August 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    wow this is some scary stuff. I work with this garbage nearly every day at a food production company. It has been know to cause “popcorn lung” in people who have been exposed at high levels. Time for a new job!

  28. dB August 1, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    word

  29. mang August 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm #

    fuk mang dat dis last time i get my muchies poppcon 4sho

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