Diacetyl in Popcorn, Alzheimer’s a Possible Development from Inhalation of Fumes
The American Chemical Society (ACS) recently published the results of a chemical research report that studied the effects diacetyl (DA), a common ingredient found in microwave popcorn butter flavoring, may have on the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The findings indicated that diacetyl has an aggravating influence on amyloid, a protein in the brain that researchers consider one of the two primary pathologies associated with Alzheimer's disease.
According to the research, chronic exposure to substances containing diacetyl can create the clumping of brain proteins, which can then lead to the development of illness such as Alzheimer’s and lung disease. Diacetyl also showed to be resistant and inhibitory of glyoxalase I, the brain’s natural mechanism for clearing out harmful amyloid protein plaque.
An article from PRWeb reported that, in May, 2012, several factory workers at a coffee manufacturing plant filed a lawsuit linking their exposure to the flavoring agents in the coffee to their diagnosis of “popcorn lung,” a scarring on the lungs that is attributed to chronic DA inhalation. A study from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health concluded that there is a direct relation between cumulative exposure to DA and airway obstruction and abnormalities.
Lead researcher on the ACS study, Dr. Robert Vince, who serves as director of the University of Minnesota Center for Drug Design, stated, “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." According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) there is no harm in consuming products made with diacetyl; it is the inhalation of the fumes that is harmful to the brain and lungs.
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