The Dangers of Maltodextrin

This week we are excited to introduce a guest article from Alison at Broth of Life.  Alison is very passionate about consuming bone broth for good health and produces organic dehydrated bone broth that could not be more convenient or delicious! 

Filled with vitamins and minerals as well as protein and healthy fats, it will satisfy your soul and nourish your body. Soothing and healing for the gut, it is a must for anyone with digestive issues and intolerances. You can add it to just about any meal, or even drink it straight up. And it makes the perfect first food when recovering from a tummy bug, too.

You can read more about Alison's personal journey here. For now, over to Alison to get into the nitty gritty of Maltodextrin.

When discussions arise around food additives like thickeners, flavour enhancers and preservatives, we naturally hit our stride and love to get involved. A topic that has popped up quite frequently in recent times is that of a particular food additive. Maltodextrin. If you haven’t heard of it or are unaware of its existence, it’s pretty likely you’ve consumed it. It is a commonly used thickener, filler and preservative in processed foods like sauces, dressings, crisps, yoghurts and nutrition supplementing snacks, to name a few. It is often even found in foods that are classed as ‘health foods.’

The main issues aren’t even that it’s a preservative, that it’s artificially produced, derived from starch and highly processed from natural foods. Nope. The big one is about the side effects that come hand in hand with the use of maltodextrin. The side effects of the product are abundant and can be quite debilitating. When working in the area of GUT health it seems pretty absurd to consider that some companies actually use maltodextrin in products (including some bone broths) that are meant to heal the very side effects that maltodextrin can cause. It’s madness, in fact. Add to that, that it’s devoid of any nutritional value and offer no health benefits - and you can’t help but throw your arms up in the air in frustration.

So, what are these side effects? How bad can they be, right? Ha! Well… If that’s not a proverbial Pandora’s box kind of question, I don’t know what is!

The side effects of maltodextrin consumption can include but are not limited to;

  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Gurgling
  • Skin irritations
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Difficulty breathing (particularly dangerous for asthmatics)
  • Can spike blood pressure (due to being high GI)

Add to all of the above that it’s often made from genetically engineered corn, which can produce its own insecticide – and that it’s been known to supress antibiotics and change GUT bacteria… And you can see why we would never consider using it in our products, particularly in our GUT healing bone broth.

All that aside, one thing maltodextrin does have going for it is its high glycaemic index. This element of its structure means its quickly digested by the human body. It’s for this reason that it is often used in workout recovery or in energy drinks. It can give energy without dehydrating and can quickly get energy and protein (if accompanied) to muscles.

Somehow, for me personally, the sporting element is not enough for me to confidently start using this additive. The even sadder fact of it all is too, that it’s actually in so many of our everyday store-bought foods, that it can be hard to avoid. So, how do we keep it in check? Eat natural and when you’re consuming store-bought products, check your labels. Being diligent about what we put in our bodies is a huge factor in overall health. A few simple changes to our shopping patterns, our diets and the way we consume food can make all the difference.

Check out Broth of Life dehydrated bone broths here.

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