“Note: A correction was made directly in this story at the request
of an independent fact checker for Facebook”
Although you may’ve been seeing articles titled ‘instant noodles are bad for you’ or ‘stop eating instant noodles because they cause cancer and strokes’, this isn’t an entirely true claim and there are no studies or a doctor claiming this.
Many of these articles claiming that instant noodles are something we should avoid eating also contain a video where there’s a comparison of how our stomach digests the instant and the non-instant ones.
But if you watch it till the end, you’ll see that the doctor who made the video didn’t say we should stop eating them.
Actually, he says he doesn’t know any health risks linked with this food and that he still consumes them.
The Origin of the ‘Doctors Are Advising Us to Stop Eating Instant Noodles’
The article originally appeared on the website Daily Health Post back in May, 2019. It was titled ‘Doctors Warn People to Avoid Instant Noodles due to Cancer and Stroke Risks’ on social media.
However, the website version said ‘see what happens inside your body when you eat ramen noodles’.
There was also the claim that you’ll never eat them after watching the video.
Even though this statement may be true as seeing an inside-in-the-bowel-digestion video of any food would be probably disgusting, this isn’t the whole story.
The video was made by a doctor with a tiny camera which was swallowed by a person who ate instant noodles and then it was also made with a person who ate non-instant ones.
According to a reporter from Boston who interviewed the doctor, the doctor was surprised by the length needed for our stomach to process the instant vs. the time necessary to digest the non-instant ones; however, he mentioned no health problems linked with the instant noodles.
‘Instant Noodles Can Contribute to Stroke and Cancer’
According to these articles, scientific studies have found that a preservative used to prolong the shelf life of this food, that is, TBHQ, is lethal and that it’s a synthetic chemical.
However, this substance is a legal additive for foods and it has been determined safe for consumption in levels of 0 to 0.5 mg/kg of body weight.
The FDA in the US requires that this substance doesn’t go over the 0.02 percent of its fat and oil content. However, the articles noted that it’s best to avoid it as much as possible because various organizations have different limits on its safety.
But, according to a peer-reviewed study titled NTP Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of TBHQ, there was no data of carcinogenic effect of the substance on male or female mice that were exposed to 1250, 2500, and 5000 ppm.
What about the Benzopyrene Claims?
The fake article also mentions Benzopyrene, a chemical, as a cancerous substance.
Even though there is a lot of science data showing its cancerous impact, it’s not something that’s allowed in food, including instant noodles.
This story points out of a situation in 2012 when this substance was found in a brand of Korean noodles.
After this discovery, the noodles were immediately recalled and no instant noodles today should contain this chemical!