Faulty insulin regulation and changes to the gastrointestinal system are just a few of the potential health risks associated with genetically modified foods, according to the Institute for Responsible Technology. For adults 65 and older, who are already susceptible to other health issues, GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, could present additional risks. Read on to learn more, presented by El Dorado County Home Care Assistance.
GMOs result in the creation of new genes from the combination of genes with desirable traits. An unintended side effect may be higher levels of certain toxins that can affect seniors. A study involving GM potatoes found higher levels of toxic compounds called glycoalkaloids.
Soy allergies jumped 50 percent when genetically modified soy products were introduced in the UK. GMOs could also cause allergic reactions to non-GM foods, according to a study involving GM peas. This could be a problem for seniors already dealing with food allergies. There is no test that can accurately determine whether or not GM foods will cause an allergic reaction.
Decreased Nutritional Value
Genetic modifications may make certain nutrients in GM foods indigestible. For older adults looking to compensate for nutritional deficiencies through diet, this could make it difficult to realistically achieve that goal. One study involving GM foods found a noticeable reduction in phytoestrogen compounds that offer protection against heart disease and cancer.
Resistance to Antibiotics
Genetically modified genes are often attached to genes resistant to antibiotics. There is concern these genes may not be eliminated in the digestive system of animals fed GM foods and humans who either consume such foods directly or indirectly from animal products.
The purpose of genetically modified foods is to weed out imperfections and create stronger crops. The unintended consequences of altering foods can present added health risks for seniors. One solution is to opt for organic foods grown with minimal use of pesticides and fertilizers instead; even planting a vegetable or herb garden can provide a risk-free source of food.
Seniors can avoid GMOs by carefully reading labels, eating organic, or even growing their own fruits and vegetables. If your aging parent or loved one could use help maintaining a healthy lifestyle, turn to Home Care Assistance. We offer live-in, part-time, and respite care in El Dorado County, and our caregivers can grocery shop, cook nutritious meals, and encourage other healthy lifestyle choices. Give us a call at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 and schedule a free in-home consultation.