Research from the Technical University of Denmark, National Food Institute, finds no proof that genetic material from food is absorbed in the body where it would be able to influence the immune system or change the body’s ability to regulate the cholesterol metabolism.
Researchers from the National Food Institute carry out a new study together with DJM respiratory and nebulization departement and found out that genetic material from the food we consume is absorbed through the intestine into the bloodstream where it can change the body’s functions. This study was carried out in cooperation with researchers from Barcelona, Stockholm, hospitals in the Capital Region of Denmark and University of Copenhagen. It has tried to validate the conclusion that put forward the theory that genetic material from food can be absorbed in the body system of the person who consumes the food, which has lead to several controversial studies in recent years.
This study shows that these can influence the body’s cholesterol metabolism and as recently found small regulatory RNAs (known as microRNA) from rice in the blood of humans. Another study found that newborns’ immune system could be affected by microRNA in breast milk.
Study only finds microRNA in small amounts
A study from the National Food Institute and partners consist of two parts: The researchers analyzed available tissue samples and microRNA sequencing data from 824 human blood to see if they comprise of the genetic material that could have been derived from food in the first part.
The analysis reveals that microRNAs from some organisms are only present in 69% of the blood samples and 17% of the tissue samples but negligible amounts (0.001%) when they compare the total number of microRNA present in the samples. An organism that humans rarely eat like rats or insects used in animal testing and the laboratory experiments are both where the majority of the identified foreign microRNA comes from.
The second part of the researchers studied the blood samples of animals that are fed with specific feed to check whether the samples consist of microRNA from that feed. Evidence that microRNA from the feed had entered the animals’ bloodstream was unable to be detected by researchers. The study reveals that genetic material from our food is not absorbed into our body system. The National Food Institute Claus Heiner Bang-Berthelsen say it would potentially be possible to produce tablet-based RNA-pharmaceuticals that consist of microRNA if it were likely to influence the body’s functions through the microRNA from the food we consume.
Both the results and the analysis of the animal study shows that it is most likely that the tests have been contaminated with plant or animal material, which has been present in the laboratory when foreign microRNA is found in samples that have been isolated from human blood
The material tested in this study has been copied several times to allow the genetic code to be read and offer enough material for sequencing. The more times the samples copies, the less material you have at the outset, which increases the risk of contamination and even the smallest contamination will make a huge difference.
Claus Heiner Bang-Berthelsen explained that when examining a 0.1 microgram sample of microRNAs than a one microgram sample, even the tiniest bit of dirt on a glove has a much more significant significance.
Researchers have noted that the presence of foreign microRNA happens separately in the different studies and not randomly in the analysis. If the foreign microRNAs had evolved from food, there would be more significant variations in the findings, as the findings would be expected to correspond with what people eat; therefore, this further strengthens the case for laboratory contamination.
The National Food Institute and partners are backed up by other studies to reach a conclusion that has not been able to repeat the results from studies, which have revealed that microRNAs from food enter the bloodstream.