Author Topic: Spread of C diff gut infections may have been helped by food additive trehalose  (Read 288 times)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Trehalose is a naturally-occuring sugar which, in 2000, became economically feasible to mass-produce and was approved by the FDA as a food additive.

Unfortunately, it looks like the two most dangerous strains of Clostridium difficile ("C diff") really like trehalose.

ArsTechnica, 1/10/18: Mysterious explosion of a deadly plague may come down to a sugar in ice cream

Take-home lesson: maybe don't eat foods with added trehalose until this is investigated further.

Offline fritz_monroe

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You do NOT want C Diff.  My mother had that last year.  She was hospitalized for it 3 different times.  She would be in the hospital for almost a week and they thought it was cured.  She would go home and 3 weeks later was back in the hospital for it again.

When it came  back for the 4th time, she went in for a fecal transplant.  It's disgusting, but it worked.  It's been about 9 months since her last bout with it.
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Offline mountainmoma

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I tried to find out what products it was in, with little success. Is it in just diet or highly processed ? Easy to tell when you pick up and item, or could it be hidden in the fine print of something you have been buying for years I wonder ?
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Offline Mr. Bill

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I'll be looking in the fine-print ingredients lists.  The FDA has it listed as "GRAS" (Generally Recognized As Safe) and requires it to be included in the total sugars on the nutrition label.  I assume it must be listed separately in the ingredients list, but I can't find confirmation of that.

Offline AvenueQ

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I just checked the ice cream we have in our freezer (Breyer's), and it's not on the list. I read ingredients lists quite a bit, it's not something I recall seeing much, if at all.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Natural sources of trehalose:

Some mushrooms (shiitake, parasol, shingled hedgehog, oyster, king oyster, golden needle, nameko, maitake, and Judas’s ear).
Sunflower seeds.
Shrimp and lobster.
Insects (if you're into eating bugs).
Honey.

So... I dunno about what this study means in the real world.  How much did the average human consumption of trehalose actually increase after it was made available as a food additive?