A new study appearing in the online edition of Chemical Research in Toxicology and on the website WebMD found that diacetyl, an ingredient in popcorn responsible for its buttery flavor and smell, may be linked to Alzheimer's disease.
They report that Diacetyl already is linked to lung damage in people who work in microwave popcorn factories. This led many microwave popcorn makers to stop using Dactyl in their products.
Researchers report that Dactyl causes brain proteins to misfold into the Alzheimer's-linked form called beta amyloid, and that can pass through the blood-brain barrier and can inhibit the brain's natural amyloid-clearing mechanisms.
The effects were only observed in test tube studies and the researchers say more work needs to be done in living animals.
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