This news flew around the web a bit about a month or two ago, but just in case you didn’t see it, I wanted to rebroadcast it here.
Propionic acid is a relatively common preservative (also known as E208, or Calcium Propionate). It’s an anti-mold/fungal agent that is added to some baked goods and cheeses to increase their shelf life, and also created in the body by some kinds of gut bacteria under specific circumstances. It’s also created naturally in some cheeses, for example Swiss.
This study came out recently, and was published in Nature: Propionic Acid Induces Gliosis and Neuro-inflammation through Modulation of PTEN/AKT Pathway in Autism Spectrum Disorder
It appears to be a potential cause of Autism-like symptoms, and some subset of Autism cases. It triggers the same kind of bad speciation/incorrect migration of neurons seen in the brain in people with Autism, as well as similar inflammatory markers seen in those people.(more...)