A common food additive can hinder the fight against influenza

A study in mice found that the preservative Tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ, also labeled E319), commonly used by food manufacturers, can make flu vaccines less effective.

E319 helps stabilize fats and is used as a preservative for a wide range of productsoin food. It can be found in someorious cooking oils, frozen meat products – especially fish fillets – and processed foods such as crackers and chips. Tert-butylhydroquinone is roAlso used in the cosmetic industry.

Tert-butylhydroquinone alters the immune system response and may reduce the effectiveness of flu vaccines, according to researchers at Michigan State University. The scientists presented their findings at the 2019 Experimental Biology meeting, ktore held on Sunday in Orlando.

– If you receive a vaccine, but part of the immune system does not learn to recognize and fight the comore infected with the virus, could make the vaccine less effective, said Robert Freeborn of Michigan State University, author of the study. – We found that the introduction of TBHQ into the diet affected certain comorki, whichore are important in carrying out an adequate immune response against influenza – added.

Freeborn, together with Professor Cheryl Rockwell, studied roThe flu strains, including H1N1 and H3N2, in terms of immune system response. Their focus has been on CD4 and CD8 T lymphocytes. – CellsoCD4 T cells are like movie directors, ktomobind all others to do. In turn, the comoCD8 T cells are actors thatoers do what the director wants – Freeborn said.

In the mouse study, the researchers wanted to see if, in the presence of TBHQ, the lymphocytes would emerge and be able to recognize and remember the attacking virus. The rodents were given E319 in food. The doses added to the food were porown comparable to those thatore consumed by people.

– In mice exposed to TBHQ, we observed a reduced number of lymphocytesoin CD8 T cells in the lungs and an ogoa significant decrease in the number of lymphocytesoin CD4 and CD8 T cells, whichore could identify the influenza virus in mice, Freeborn said. – The mice in question had roAlso, widespread inflammation in the lungs and increased mucus production – added.

TBHQ slowed roAlso the initial activation of lymphocytesoTh, reducing their ability to fight infection faster. This allowed the virus to quietly grow in the bodies of mice until the comork immune cells fully activated.

Studies have also shown that the preservative hinders the immune system’s ability to remember the response to the influenza virus, especially when a different strain of the virus has emerged at the time. This resulted in longer recovery and additional weight loss in mice.

– It is important for the body to be able to recognize the virus and to be able to remember how to fight it effectively – explained Freeborn. – This is the purpose of vaccination, to stimulate this memory and create immunity. TBHQ appears to impair this process – added.