Objective: Certain food additives may promote the pathogenesis of Crohn’s disease (CD), but thus far the evaluation of food additive exposures in humans has been limited. The objective of this study was to quantify food additive exposures in children with CD. Methods: In a trial for bone health in CD, children were followed over 24 months with evaluation of disease characteristics, dietary intake, and body composition. At baseline, participants completed three 24-h dietary recalls. Foods were categorized, and the ingredient list for each item was evaluated for the presence of select food additives: polysorbate-80, carboxymethylcellulose, xanthan gum, soy lecithin, titanium dioxide, carrageenan, maltodextrin, and aluminosilicates. The frequency of exposures to these food additives was described for study participants and for food categories. Results: At study baseline, 138 participants, mean age 14.2 ± 2.8 years, 95% having inactive or mild disease, were enrolled and dietary recalls were collected. A total of 1325 unique foods were recorded. Mean exposures per day for xanthan gum was 0.96 ± 0.72, carrageenan 0.58 ± 0.63, maltodextrin 0.95 ± 0.77, and soy lecithin 0.90 ± 0.74. The other additives had less than 0.1 exposures per day. For the 8 examined food additives, participants were exposed to a mean (SD) of 3.6 ± 2.1 total additives per recall day and a mean (SD) of 2.4 ± 1.0 different additives per day. Conclusion: Children with CD frequently consume food additives, and the impact on disease course needs further study.
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