- It is expected that the nutrients, minerals and vitamins contained within the food we eat will be assimilated into our bodies. Once consumed, large molecules are quickly digested and broken down into safe functional components.
- Recent research has observed that some molecules, specifically microRNAs (miRNAs – a molecule involved in regulation of gene expression), may survive digestion and enter the bloodstream. Researchers observed that miRNAs from rice, when present in the bloodstream of mice, caused a lowering of levels of a decrease cholesterol-related receptor, thus resulting in elevated levels of ‘bad cholesterol’.
These findings raise questions about genetically modified foods and the potential for foreign genetic material to pass into humans with adverse affects. Increasing use of GM crops will require further analysis of these sorts of potential risk.
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