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People are becoming more aware of what is being passed off as food these days and are questioning the use of MSG, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats etc.etc.etc.

But maltodextrin is found in even more foods and flying under many people’s radar.

About 17 years ago I became aware, of this now ubiquitous additive, when working as a personal trainer. You see Maltodextrin is often taken as a supplement in powder form by bodybuilders and other athletes, as it is a quickly digested carbohydrate that reportedly helps the body build muscle post-workout. Which, by the way, is no reason for the average person to take these powders – but that is a conversation for another day.

I saw many people consuming those “meal replacement shakes” for weight loss/muscle building. Yes I did too – briefly – had to but quit after I developed gut “issues”. Not knowing to ask back then and in light of this new information I can’t help but wonder how many people in the gym experienced GI upset. Maybe you or someone you know has had a similar experience. They should read the study below.

Now new a new study shows why this happens. (link)

Maltodextrin is found everywhere these days in packaged foods. It is easily digestible, being absorbed as rapidly as glucose, and can be either moderately sweet (85-135 on glycemic index) or almost flavorless. It is commonly used for the production of sodas and candy and most other packaged foods but is also found in beer to improve mouthfeel and increase head retention.

In the US it is mostly derived from corn but can be created from any starchy grain and herein lies the problem.

Over 95% of corn grown in this country has been genetically modified. Much of it creates a toxin from a bacteria commonly found in soil Bacillus thuringiensis. This toxin known as BT toxin is hotly debated in the health community and there have never been any long term animal studies or human studies to measure the effects of this toxin on the gut microbiome. The verdict is still out but I ask you to consider this.

Does it seem wise to consume a plant that has bacterial genes artificially placed into its DNA to produce a toxin that paralyzes and dissolves the gut of the pests that chew on it?

Your gut microbiome is your first line of defense against pathogenic (disease creating) microbes. The balance of good and bad bacteria within us is widely believed to be associated with health or a host of diseases namely those of the autoimmune variety (i.e. MS, AS, RA, Crohn’s, etc)

Back to Maltodextrin

The study above shows that the consumption of Maltodextrin
” impairs cellular anti-bacterial responses and suppresses intestinal anti-microbial defense mechanisms”.

I for one try to eat a few packaged foods as possible. If you read lables I would start paying closer attention to this nasty additive.

Foods where you’ll find Maltodextrin

  • “light” peanutbutters
  • beer
  • candy
  • sodas
  • potato chips
  • salad dressings
  • frozen yoghurt
  • spice mixes
  • Cheetos
  • many baked goods
  • fat-free and sugar free products
  • processed meat
  • nutrition bars
  • splenda
  • mass gainer shakes
  • meal replacement shakes like Ensure and Advocare

” Maltodextrin impairs cellular anti-bacterial responses and suppresses intestinal anti-microbial defense mechanisms”.