There’s an ongoing debate over whether or not genetically modified organisms are ultimately a good thing. GMOs are living organisms that have had their genetic makeup engineered to make foods more resistant to herbicides. While that sounds positive, there are some potential risks. Here, Jefferson County Home Care Assistance highlights how GMOs could impact senior health.
The Organic Consumers Association notes that the list of common GM foods also includes common food allergens. Late-onset food allergies affect anywhere from five to 10 percent of all seniors, presenting a potential risk from added exposure to certain allergens.
A review of nearly two dozen studies by GM Education note that animals fed genetically modified foods may accumulate toxic levels of some nutrients, especially in the kidneys and liver. This toxicity may transfer to seniors eating significant amounts of GM foods.
A report by the Institute for Responsible Technology noted an improvement in recovery when GM foods were removed from patient diets, suggesting a possible link with GMOs. Instances of gluten sensitivity in seniors often go unreported, which could lead to added dietary exposure for susceptible seniors.
What Seniors Can Do
According to a National Research Center survey, more than 70 percent of Americans don’t want genetically modified organisms in foods they eat. For seniors and their caregivers concerned about the potential health risks of GMOs, sticking with organic or non-modified foods will still provide access to an assortment of beneficial nutrients.
A 2012 study linked genetically modified corn to cancer in lab animals, but there was some controversy over the results and the motivations behind the research. The World Health Organization says consuming foods with GMOs poses no greater risk than what’s available from traditional crop plants, although there is a lack of research on the long-term impact of mixing genes from different species on human health.
Learn more about promoting health and wellness after 65 by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. We are the leading provider of live-in, part-time, and respite care Jefferson County families trust, ensuring the seniors in our community have the support necessary to safely and comfortably age in place. Discover how our services can benefit your aging parent or relative by calling (303) 987-5992 today and scheduling a free in-home consultation.