A social media post claims that the consumption of starch can cause a calcium carbonate build-up causing pus in the pimples, plaque on teeth and breast lumps. We fact-checked and found this claim to be Mostly False.
A Facebook reel titled, “Sad but true, starch destroys us. If nature didn’t make it, don’t take it ” displays a video in which the narrator states that pus in pimples, plaque on teeth or a lump found in a breast are examples of calcium carbonate showing up in the body after eating “man-made” products.
What is starch?
Starch is a carbohydrate that exists in many foods, including grains, vegetables, and fruits. As per the definition, “Starch is a white odourless tasteless granular or powdery complex carbohydrate (C6H10O5)x that is the chief storage form of carbohydrate in plants, is an important foodstuff, has demulcent and absorbent properties, and is used in pharmacy especially as a dusting powder and as a constituent of ointments and pastes.” It is mostly used for cooking. Another kind of starch is used for laundry purposes.
Does eating starch destroy us?
Not exactly. Starch is a daily source of energy for most people and an essential part of a balanced diet. As a source of carbohydrates, it helps the body function. The NHS states that starchy foods are a good source of energy and the main source of nutrients in our diet. They contain fibre, calcium, iron, and B vitamins.
However, in certain cases, excessive consumption of starch can be harmful, especially for individuals with diabetes or CSID (Congenital sucrase-isomaltase deficiency), who need to regulate their intake. While moderate intake is safe, excessive consumption regularly can increase the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
THIP Media has already fact-checked a claim that stated that starch is poisonous for humans.
Does starch lead to calcium carbonate buildup?
Not exactly. There is a lack of credible scientific literature in proving that the consumption of starch can cause calcium carbonate buildup in the body. Calcium carbonate is a naturally occurring mineral and can be found in rocks in all parts of the world (most notably as limestone); and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails, coal balls, pearls, and eggshells. It is not a derivative of starch.
Calcium carbonate is used as a dietary supplement used when the amount of calcium taken in the diet is not enough. It is also used as an antacid to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and upset stomach.
Dietitian Kamna Chauhan states, “No, eating starch doesn’t cause calcium carbonate buildup as calcium carbonate is a natural compound found in snails, rocks, eggshells etc. calcium is an essential nutrient for the body and plays a vital role in healthy bones, nerves and muscle buildup. It helps bones to be strong, helps muscle contraction, and helps your heart pump. When people don’t get enough calcium from their diet, they need supplements to fulfill their needs, then they need calcium carbonate to meet their requirements. Calcium carbonate cannot derive from starch. They are naturally occurring minerals.”
Does eating starch causes pus in pimples, plaque on teeth and breast lumps?
Not exactly. There is a lack of scientific evidence which can prove that the consumption of starch causes calcium buildup, which, in turn, causes pus in pimples, plaque on teeth and breast lumps. There are various other factors involved in their etiologies.
Pus is a thick yellow or white coloured fluid that is made up of dead tissue, cells and bacteria, indicating the presence of an infection. The pus in pimples is made from sebum (oil) which gets trapped in your pores, along with a combination of dead skin cells, debris (such as makeup), and bacteria. Calcium carbonate is not one of its constituents.
Additionally, all breast lumps are not made up of calcium. Breast lumps can be caused by a variety of things, including cysts, fibroadenomas, or cancers, and are not typically made of calcium carbonate. Only breast calcifications are calcium deposits that can occur anywhere in the breast. Consumption of starch is not considered to be a causative agent. They are caused due to various cancerous or non-cancerous conditions, previous injury, cell secretions or debris, etc.
Lastly, processed food starches in modern human diets indeed possess significant cariogenic potential. Plaque on teeth can be caused by the buildup of starch and sugar. When these substances are not properly cleaned from the teeth, they can interact with bacteria in the mouth to form plaque, a sticky film that clings to the teeth. Plaque can lead to tooth decay and gum disease if not removed through regular brushing and flossing. So, it can be said that consuming a diet high in starchy and sugary foods can contribute to plaque buildup on teeth. But, if proper oral hygiene is maintained, starch consumption won’t contribute to dental plaque.
Dietitian Kamna Chauhan further states, “No, consumption of starch cannot lead to pus in pimples, plaque on teeth, and breast lumps. Pus occurs due to oil, bacteria and other material that can be clogged within your pores and the body’s natural defense response to these substances. Pus is made from sebum (oil) that is trapped in pores along with the combination of dead skin cells and bacteria. The reason behind pus occurrence is inflammation and an immune response.”
Therefore, all of these claims stand mostly false until proven otherwise.
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