Popcorn Butter Linked to Alzheimer’s

Diacetyl flavoring for artificial butter may cause protein clumps in the brain

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    Don’t be so quick to ask for extra butter on your popcorn.

    A recent study published in Chemical Research in Toxicology has found a troubling link between artificial butter flavoring in microwave popcorn and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Diacetyl, a flavoring used to produce the buttery flavor and aroma in microwave popcorn, has an architecture similar to a substance that makes beta-amyloid proteins clump together in the brain. 

    This clumping is the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

    Diacetyl is also used in margarine, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods, and other products such as beer and some chardonnay wines. Not the chardonnay!
     
    The substance has been the focus of research recently because it is linked to respiratory and other problems in workers at microwave popcorn and food-flavoring factories.  The outcome shows that occupational exposure may also be causing toxic effects on nerve cells.

    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of NBC, NBC 5, NBCDFW.com or its employees.