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Artificial Food Colorings and Your Health

In the year 2022, most Americans have at least a vague notion that artificial food coloring is “bad" and can make children hyperactive. But not as many people understand how truly thorough and damning the science against food dyes actually is.

Artificial food dyes are banned in two European countries, require warning labels throughout the European Union (and are hence little used), and that Wal-Mart, Coca Cola, and Kraft in Britain don’t use them in generic products?

What do Europeans know that we don’t? Actually, they have access to the same science we do; they just take it more seriously.

Ways Artificial Food Dye is Known to be Harmful

Immunologist Aristo Vojdani, PhD, outlines the various health risks and disorders associated with food colorings in one of his many published papers, and in his book, When Food Turns Against You.

The ways in which artificial food colorings have been found to be harmful:

  • Food coloring is linked to hyperactivity and ADHD. This is one of the most commonly known health consequences associated with food dyes.

  • The caramel coloring used in soft drinks has been found to pose a cancer risk.

  • Many people, children especially, consume far more food coloring than has been measured for safety. A bowl of colored cereal exceeds the amount of food coloring that has been found to cause behavioral issues in some children.

  • Artificial food coloring binds to proteins in foods it is added to. Human digestive enzymes cannot break down many of these proteins once they are bound to food coloring. This creates intestinal inflammation and damage, leading to leaky gut.

  • Food coloring also binds to human tissue and proteins in the blood. This is what turns kids’ lips and tongues bright colors after they eat a lollipop or snow cone. Human autopsies have revealed entire colons dyed blue or green due to food coloring. The problem is the immune system does not recognize human tissue once it is bound to food coloring and it may begin to attack the tissue. This can lead to permanent autoimmunity to that organ or tissue. Also, once these colors are bound to cells in the body, those cells can no longer function properly.

  • Food coloring causes allergic reactions in some people, causing a runny nose, hives, welts, and neurological reactions.

  • Food coloring can lead to a breakdown in oral tolerance, or the ability of the immune system to tell friend from foe. This can result in increased food and chemical sensitivities.

Why Manufacturers Don't Use Natural Colors

Artificial food colorings, which are made from petroleum, clearly adversely affect human health. Manufacturers use color additives to cover up an absence of natural color, offset color loss due to light, air and temperature exposure, and give the product “added value.”

The most widely used dyes are Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 – accounting for 90% of all dyes used.

The bottom line is that these dyes are just not worth the cost to our health or that of our children.

How to Avoid Artificial Colors

Food dyes are not just in obvious things such as candies and sodas. They lurk in salad dressings, pickles, crackers, meats (particularly tandoori chicken), desserts, medications, soaps, cosmetics, lotions, toothpastes, and other products.

A vitally important step as you transition to a whole foods diet is to eliminate all artificial colorings and other additives from your diet and from the products you use on your body.

For more information on customizing a diet for your body and health goals, reach out to our office!

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