This food additive sends your appetite into overdrive

Poor eating habits can easily become a vicious cycle…

Say, for instance, you start eating too much junk food — chips, ice cream, crackers, sugary cereals — the usual suspects.

If you do it for too long, you may find that this junk food habit changes your body chemistry and appetite in a very bad way. All thanks to chemical food additives.

Take the food additive Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) as an example…

BHT has been added to processed foods since the 1950s to keep fats and oils from going rancid. You’ll also find it on lots of cereal boxes, in dried soups and enriched rice products. But research on this popular food additive shows that it probably comes with some unfortunate side effects…

Like preventing your stomach from telling your brain you’re full and sending your appetite into overdrive.

The BHT communication breakdown

A recent study from researchers at Cedars-Sinai confirmed a fact that other studies have been hinting at for years… that BHT could be breaking down communication between your gut and brain. And as a result, it could be making you gain weight.

In the past, animal studies showed that BHT has a connection to obesity. Animals who ate more of it, were more likely to deal with weight issues. But this time around, researchers tested its effect on human stem cells. And here’s what they found…

Chronic exposure to BHT damaged hormones that help your gut send messages to your brain. That means it could be interfering with your stomach’s ability to tell your brain you’re full, making you more likely to overeat and become overweight.

Researchers found that other common chemicals do this too — perfluorooctanoic acid (found in some cookware, cardboard packaging used in the fast food industry, carpeting and tons of other common products) and tributyltin (a compound in paints that’s also found its way into seafood). But BHT was by far the worst.

Of course, all three chemicals combined had the greatest impact on your hunger hormones. And chances are, you’re exposed to all three… especially if you’re eating BHT-filled junk food.

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But isn’t BHT good for you?

You may have come across a confusing piece of information about BHT in recent years… that it’s an antioxidant, and is therefore good for you. And its true BHT is an antioxidant. That’s actually why it prevents food from going bad… it stops the oxidation process. Some people even take BHT supplements.

But the fact is, while some studies show that BHT has an antioxidant effect, others show it has a carcinogenic effect. And then, of course, there’s what it does to your hunger hormones. So given the potential side effects, I’d play it safe and steer clear of it.

Truthfully, you don’t need BHT anyway. There are plenty of other antioxidant supplements you can take and plenty of antioxidant-rich foods you can eat that are whole, natural and BHT-free.

Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!


  1. Study shows how food preservatives may disrupt human hormones and promote obesity.” — MedicalXpress. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  2. Two Preservatives to Avoid?” — Berkley Wellness. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  3. BHA and BHT: A Case for Fresh?” — Huffington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  4. Chemistry of BHA and BHT Food Preservatives.” — ThoughtCo. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  5. EWG’s Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives: Generally Recognized as Safe—But Is It?” — Environmental Working Group. Retrieved August 10, 2017.
  6. The Truth About Food Additive BHA.” — Live Science. Retrieved August 10, 2017.


Jenny Smiechowski

By Jenny Smiechowski

Jenny Smiechowski is a Chicago-based freelance writer who specializes in health, nutrition and the environment. Her work has appeared in online and print publications like Chicagoland Gardening magazine, Organic Lifestyle Magazine, BetterLife Magazine,, and