A Scientists at Harvard University warned that commonly used preservatives used to prevent mildew from bread and cakes could fuel the obesity crisis by damaging the metabolism.

Propionate is widely used in baked goods, animal feeds and artificial flavors, but appears to increase hormone levels that cause weight gain and diabetes, according to new research.

Researchers at Harvard's TH Chanvard School of Public Health conducted two studies, one on animals and the other on humans, which showed that propionate triggers a "cascade of metabolic events" that can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain.

"Understanding how ingredients in foods affect the body's metabolism at the molecular and cellular levels could …