Today, chemical food dyes are commonly added to foods to improve their color and give them a vibrant appearance. These chemical food dyes are made from petroleum – the yellow liquid that is mined from the earth to produce motor oil and gasoline.
At this moment, the Food and Drug Organisation (FDA) is not concerned about these petroleum products used in American food, but many of them are outlawed in other countries around the world because they pose serious health risks. As a matter of fact, there are studies that have linked artificial food dyes to allergies, hyperactivity, and even cancer, particularly in children.
Moreover, there are concerns that they could have other potentially harmful side effects too. According to studies, artificial food dyes have the potential to cause the following effects:
- Allergic reactions
- Chromosomal damage
- Organ damage
- Birth defects
Furthermore, chemical food dyes also contain unknown and unexpected impurities. As a matter of fact, these impurities are so toxic that the European Union and the British government have ended the use of dyes in food throughout Europe since 2009.
In this article, we’re going to reveal some of the scientific research for the potential danger of chemical food dyes. Moreover, at the end of the article, we will reveal which popular products contain chemical food dyes.
Most common food dyes used today
The most common chemical-based food dyes are Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40. However, popular chemical dyes for food also include Blue 1, Blue 2, and Red 3. Artificial food dyes are combined with food in order to create the right color for food and make it more attractive.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that artificial food colors must be tested and certified before being used in foods and drinks. Although artificial food dyes used in food processing go through rigorous testing for toxicity by the FDA, some research has shown that artificial food dyes may contain cancer-causing chemicals including benzidine, 4-aminobiphenyl, and 4-aminoazobenzene.
Another concern about the dangers of artificial food dyes is their impact on children. For instance, children tend to eat more artificially colored beverages and foods than adults. Plus, their smaller bodyweight indicates that children proportionally utilize more food dyes than adults. Moreover, children’s bodies are more sensitive to carcinogens than adults.
Moreover, there may be dangers when more food coloring chemicals in food are mixed together. For instance, one study discovered that a combination of Red 40, Yellow 4, Yellow 5, Red 2, and other food dyes can negatively affect the central nervous system. Unfortunately, there are not many studies that have been carried out on the synergizing effect of combining artificial food dyes.
There are also many studies that have shown the link between artificial food dyes and allergies, cancer, and attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). Some studies found that artificial food dyes could be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.
Approximately 90 percent of the dyes used in foods are Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6. Even there are cases when fresh oranges are dipped in dyes to brighten them and provide a uniform color.
Artificial food dyes dangers
Red 40: This is one of the most common artificial food dyes used in foods processing. According to studies, Red 40 can contain p-Cresidine which is classified as a potential carcinogen. It also has been proven to cause immune-system tumors in animals and allergic and hyperactive reactions in children.
Red 3: According to studies, the food dye Red 3 may affect the function of the thyroid gland and increase the risk of breast and thyroid cancer. In another study, Red 3 was shown to have estrogen-like activity in the body, which also could be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer.
Yellow 5: According to studies, Yellow 5 can be contaminated with the carcinogen benzidine. This food dye also has been linked to organ damage and affect the gastric mucosa in experimental animals.
Yellow 6: Tests showed that Yellow 6 may be contaminated with benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl. Both substances have been shown to increase the risk of testicular and adrenal tumors. One study published in the Journal Toxicology found that Yellow 6 has an estrogen-like effect in the body, which has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer and biliary cirrhosis.
Blue 1: This artificial food dye can affect how the body reacts to inflammation and the stability of cell development. According to one 2016 study, Blue 1 has a potential risk in the development of cancer and affect the nervous system.
Blue 2: This food additive is commonly found in colored sodas, candies, and other foods. Some studies even indicate that Blue 2 increases breast tumors and brain gliomas in rats.
A list of popular children’s foods you’ll want to avoid
1. M&M’s: These are fun chocolate candies that melt in your mouth and not in your hands. These manufacturers utilize Red 40, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, and Blue 2, which are known to cause brain and bladder tumors. Moreover, they contain Blue 2, which inhibit the development of nerve cells. Since all of these artificial colors are made from petroleum, they also can cause hyperactivity, allergic reactions, and cancer.
2. Pop-tarts: These toaster pastries contain corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose and sugar within the first 7 ingredients. These sugary products have all been associated with childhood diabetes, liver problems. and sugar addiction. Pop tarts also contain TBHQ, which comes from petroleum and damages human DNA and causes cellular dysfunction.
3. Fruit snacks: Many fruit-based snacks such as jam-filled cereal bars that market themselves as healthy options, are filled with food coloring to make them more appealing. Red 3 (also known as E127) is commonly used, which is worrisome since it has been banned from cosmetic products for causing thyroid tumors.
4. Cheetos: Cheetos are colored with Yellow 6, which is derived from petroleum. They also contain artificial flavorings such as methyl benzoate and ethyl methylphenidate. These chemicals have been shown to cause intestinal distress, gastritis, and addiction-like dependence in children and adults.
5. Teddy grams: Teddy grams are laced with TBHQ, which has been shown to cause nausea, vomiting, delirium, collapse, and ringing in the ears. Moreover, it has been shown to cause stomach cancer, DNA damage, and damage to human lungs and umbilical cells. In children, it can cause restlessness, anxiety, and enhance the symptoms of ADHD.
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