Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are used in some foods to increase healthy yields and boost resistance to disease and contamination from herbicides. While this may sound like a good thing, changing the gene structure of food can have some unintended consequences. This is especially true when you consider the possible impact on senior health. Here are a few ways GMOs can adversely impact elderly health, presented by Douglas County Home Care Assistance.
Fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, shellfish, and peanuts are among the most common foods that adversely affect about 10 percent of seniors. Genetically modified foods often intersect with some of the same foods that usually trigger allergies in seniors, presenting a potential risk if those gene-spliced proteins are accidentally consumed.
GM Education reports an increase in certain nutrients and compounds that are toxic in higher amounts in some animals fed genetically modified soy and maize. This can be especially problematic for seniors with existing kidney and liver issues.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that celiac disease, characterized by difficulty digesting gluten, is increasingly common in older adults. A report by the Institute for Responsible Technology notes better results in patients with gluten sensitivity when genetically modified foods were removed from their diet, suggesting a potential link.
DNA Changes and Digestive Issues
Genetic modification involves splicing genes from one species with genes from another species. Long-term effects of these genetic alternations haven’t been widely studied. There’s evidence to suggest that DNA in food can survive in the digestive tract and get into the bloodstream. It’s not known how modified genes may alter existing DNA structures. There’s also evidence suggesting that genetically modified foods may contribute to digestive issues.
Organic foods present a convenient alternative for seniors concerned about the risks associated with genetically modified foods. Produced without the use of man-made ingredients and conventional pesticides and fertilizers, such foods are readily available in many local supermarkets and widely considered safe to eat.
For more information on promoting senior wellness, turn to the experienced staff at Home Care Assistance. We’re a leading provider of dementia and Alzheimer’s home care in Douglas County, CO, help seniors of all abilities maintain safety and wellness while aging in the comfort of home. Call a friendly Care Manager today at 720-287-1685 to learn more.