The Surprising Link Between Popcorn and Cancer

Oct 02, 2023

Popcorn is a beloved snack enjoyed by people of all ages at movie theaters, sports events, and in the comfort of their homes. However, recent claims and studies have raised concerns about the potential health risks associated with popcorn consumption, particularly its alleged connection to cancer. 

There are lots of headlines swirling around the internet connecting microwave popcorn and cancer and claiming that microwave popcorn is one of the worst things you can eat, but are the claims true?

While there's nothing that connects the microwave popcorn itself to cancer, there are problems with some of the ingredients that are in the lining of the microwaveable bags. However, after some microwave popcorn brands got wind of potential problems with their packaging, they switched to safer alternatives.

One of the problems with microwave popcorn lies in the microwave-safe bag that houses the kernels. According to a December 2013 report in Environmental Health Perspectives, microwave popcorn bags contain chemicals called perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA), which is the same chemical used in Teflon® nonstick coating, and perfluorooctane sulfonate (or PFOS).

The same report notes that PFOA has been connected to kidney cancer and testicular cancer, as well as ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure during pregnancy. A February 2017 study that was published in the Journal of Endocrinological Investigation took a deeper dive into the effect on the thyroid and connected the chemicals to hypothyroidism, especially in women.

But does the fact that the bags have PFOAs and PFOSs in them mean that you'd be ingesting the chemical if you eat the popcorn? Researchers from a report published in a newer October 2019 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives set out to answer this question.

They found that eating microwave popcorn had significant positive associations with the concentration of PFOA and PFOS in the blood. They also made the point that PFOAs and PFOSs can remain in the body for 3.5 and 4.8 years, respectively.

After popcorn manufacturers got wind of the health problems associated with PFOA, many of them took the chemical out of their bags; however, others did not.

Researchers from a report that was published in Food Additives and Contaminants in September 2019 tested popcorn bags from seven microwave popcorn brands and found that two of them contained amounts over the acceptable limit, while the others had lower concentrations.

While this is definitely a step in the right direction, the problem is there's no way to tell which ones are safe and which ones aren't. Manufacturers don't list whether or not their popcorn bags contain PFOA on the labels.

But it's not just cancer that's the problem. Another report that was published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine in October 2018 connected an ingredient in microwave popcorn butter flavoring, called diacetyl, to lung problems. According to the report's researchers, workers from popcorn manufacturing facilities were presenting with lung obstructions and chronic coughs that eventually got the nickname "popcorn lung."

After some digging, it was determined that diacetyl is a respiratory toxin and chronic exposure can irritate and harm the lungs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that when diacetyl is heated, it can cause a vapor that damages the airways and can lead to obliterative bronchiolitis, or narrowing of the lungs' airways that's caused by inflammation.

Of course, the workers in the popcorn manufacturing facilities are exposed to much higher concentrations than you would be from eating a bag of microwave popcorn here and there. And, as of November 2019, there is not evidence connecting eating popcorn to popcorn lung. But the connection is still something that you may want to be aware of.

If you are going to make popcorn, buy organic kernels and pop it yourself! It tastes so much better and you know exactly what’s in it! Anya loves to help me make our popcorn on the stove! Just make sure it’s organic.

Popcorn: A Staple Snack

Popcorn, made from dried corn kernels, is a popular snack known for its light, crispy texture and irresistible buttery flavor. It has been a cherished part of American culture for generations and is often perceived as a relatively healthy alternative to other snack options due to its high-fiber content and relatively low calorie count.

The Cancer Concerns

Recently, some studies have suggested a potential link between popcorn consumption and an increased risk of cancer. The primary cause for concern centers around a substance called diacetyl, a chemical used in the artificial butter flavoring found in microwave popcorn. Diacetyl is known to be linked to a respiratory condition known as "popcorn lung" when inhaled in large quantities, leading to lung damage. Some experts worry that consuming diacetyl through popcorn may pose similar health risks.

However, it's essential to note that the risk of developing "popcorn lung" from eating microwave popcorn is extremely low. The concentrations of diacetyl in microwave popcorn are typically much lower than those found in industrial settings where cases of "popcorn lung" have been reported. Furthermore, popcorn lung is a rare condition, and no strong scientific evidence currently suggests that popcorn consumption at typical levels is a significant cancer risk.

The PBX Zeolite Detox Solution

While the concerns regarding popcorn and cancer are not supported by substantial scientific evidence, it is crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take steps to minimize exposure to potential toxins. One way to support your body's natural detoxification processes is by considering natural detox solutions like PBX Zeolite Detox.

Zeolites are naturally occurring minerals with a unique molecular structure that allows them to trap and remove toxins from the body. PBX Zeolite Detox is a dietary supplement that contains micronized clinoptilolite zeolite, a type of zeolite known for its ability to bind to and remove heavy metals and other harmful substances from the body.

The link between popcorn and cancer remains inconclusive, with no robust scientific evidence supporting a significant risk. However, it's always wise to be mindful of your overall health and consider natural detox solutions like PBX Zeolite Detox to support your body's natural detoxification processes. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen to ensure it's appropriate for your individual health needs. Remember that moderation and a balanced diet are key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and there's no need to completely avoid enjoying popcorn in a responsible and reasonable manner

The Benefits of PBX Zeolite Detox

  • Heavy Metal Detoxification: PBX Zeolite Detox can help remove heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium from the body, which can accumulate over time and pose health risks.
  • Support for Immune Health: Zeolites have been shown to support the immune system by reducing the burden of toxins on the body.
  • Improved Gut Health: Zeolites may help improve gut health by promoting a balanced microbiome and reducing inflammation.
  • Enhanced Overall Well-being: Many users report increased energy levels and a sense of well-being after incorporating PBX Zeolite Detox into their daily routine.

Detoxing with PBX Zeolite

If you need more boost in protecting your body, consider using PBX Zeolite as a natural detoxification method. PBX Zeolite is a safe and effective way to help rid the body of harmful substances like heavy metals and other toxins. Consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on its usage and dosage to ensure your well-being. It's essential to act promptly when toxin exposure is suspected, and PBX Zeolite can be a valuable tool in your efforts to safeguard health. Start your detox journey now!