As longtime aficionados of microwave popcorn (forget ramen, our college diet was all about downing bags of Act II Butter Lover's popcorn) we were sadly too aware of the the threat of "popcorn lung" which can come from heavy exposure to the additive biacetyl (or diacetyl), which helps give things (including, true story, Chardonnay) that buttery flavor without, y'know, butter. And now to go with "popcorn lung" we've got to worry about "popcorn brain," too.

According to a new report in CS's journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, too much exposure to diacetyl can also help trigger Alzheimer's disease. But don't panic! The concern is less for those who eat a bag of popcorn every now and then than for workers who are exposed the flavoring all the time. Which is why some Big Popcorn companies, like ConAgra (which makes our beloved Act II), actually stopped using the additive in 2007. Spending more than $100 million in worker lawsuits helped push that decision, as well, we're sure.

Still, with corn crops hurt by the drought in the Midwest we're sure the threat of Alzheimer's isn't one Big Popcorn really wants consumers to be thinking about (or do they? More corn for ethanol!). Expect another study pointing out the wacky health benefits of the light and fluffy snack any second now.