Optim Curcuma’s formula, Longvida®, is guaranteed FREE of polysorbate.
Today, there are curcumin-based formulations that contain polysorbate 80 but these formulations have some side effects.
What is polysorbate 80?
Polysorbate 80 (or Tween 80) is a polyoxyethylene sorbitan Monooleate. It is a synthetic molecule used as a food additive (EU Number E433), as an ingredient in certain cosmetic products and also in flu vaccines.
It is an emulsifier that stabilizes emulsions. Indeed, polysorbate 80 has the characteristic of having a hydrophilic part and another lipophilic part. This makes it possible, for example, to improve the solubility in water of hydrophobic molecules such as curcumin and thus to improve its bioavailability.
Is Polysorbate toxic/dangerous?
Polysorbate is authorised in Europe as a food additive (E433). However, the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) has re-evaluated the toxicity and possible hazards of certain additives including polysorbate. The Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) has defined the Tolerable Daily Dose at 10 mg/kg body weight per day.
This amount corresponds to the daily polysorbate consumption of 600mg for a 60kg person. The tolerable daily intake is therefore quickly exceeded when taking food supplements containing this additive.
What are the possible side effects of polysorbate?
➡ In mice, Polysorbate 80, at relatively low concentrations, leads to alterations in the intestinal ecosystem, inflammation and metabolic syndrome (increased levels of food consumption, obesity, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance). In addition, researchers at the Universities of Ghent (Belgium) and Atlanta (USA) have demonstrated that emulsifiers such as Polysorbate modify the composition of bacterial strains of the intestinal microbiota in a way that makes the intestinal flora more pro-inflammatory. (Chassaing, 2015; Chassaing 2017)
➡ Two other recent articles have demonstrated that emulsifiers can cause dysfunctions of the intestinal barrier by affecting tight junctions i.e. an increase in intestinal permeability. When the tight junctions are destabilized, this leads to the entry of foreign antigens that activate inflammation and immune reactions. (Lerner, 2015; Csáki, 2011).
The consumption of polysorbate is therefore not recommended in people with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease or chronic inflammation of the intestines.
Chassaing B, Koren O, Goodrich JK, Poole AC, Srinivasan S, Ley RE, Gewirtz AT. Dietary emulsifiers impact the mouse gut microbiota promoting colitis and metabolic syndrome. Nature. 2015 Mar 5;519(7541):92-6.
Csáki KF. Synthetic surfactant food additives can cause intestinal barrier dysfunction. Med Hypotheses. 2011 May;76(5):676-81. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2011.01.030.
Lerner A, Matthias T. Changes in intestinal tight junction permeability associated with industrial food additives explain the rising incidence of autoimmune disease. Autoimmun Rev. 2015 Feb 9. pii: S1568-9972(15)00024-5. doi: 10.1016/j.autrev.2015.01.009.