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Monday, 04 February 2013 09:22

Beware Before Eating Colorful Foods

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Though color foods are appealing but can make you sick as well…

food-colorHow often your children choose a glass of milk over fluorescent yogurt? Not so often…it’s not the health benefits of yogurt that attract your children, but it’s the fluorescent color making yogurt favorite one.

Not only children’s adults too sometimes overindulge themselves in the attractive colorful foods.

The color of food is an integral part of our culture and enjoyment of life, they say people "eat with their eyes" as well as their palates. Hence, to make food more appealing different type of food colors are used.

However, have you ever thought that attracting looking food items can cause harm to health due to use of artificial color.

FDA definition

USFDA defines a color additive as any dye, pigment or substance which when added or applied to a food, drug or cosmetic, or to the human body, is capable of imparting color. So when artificial dye is used to food or drink results in a colorful foodstuff. These are available in form of liquids, powders, gels and pests. They are labeled as “Red 40”,”Blue 2” or “Yellow 5 Lake” etc.

Food dyes are commonly used in commercial food production and domestic cooking as well. Food coloring is used to enhance the look of food, make them more appealing or balance the color loss while processing. They are commonly used in sausages, baked goods, dessert, pastries, waffles, chips, candy, cereal and beverages.

Food color and health problems

Center For Science In The Public Interest (CSPI) executive director, Michael F Jacobson said,

“These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of food, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody.”

CSPI reports on the artificial coloring indicating their harmful effect. Depending on their health impact and testing in animals they can be divided as used with “Caution” or “Avoided."

Caution: May poses risk and needs to be better tested.

Blue 1: Occasional allergic reactions and might affect the neuron

Citrus red 2: Rarely used so not much worrying

Red 40: Allergy-like reaction commonly used in junk foods

Avoid: Unsafe in amount consumed or poorly tested

Blue 2: May cause brain cancer in male rat

Green 3: Cancer-causing  properties and hence not widely used

Orange B: In high doses can harm to liver and bile duct

Red 3: Cause a thyroid tumor in rat.

Yellow 5: Can cause allergy-like hypersensitivity reactions and triggers hyperactivity in children.

Yellow 6: Can lead to tumor of adrenal gland and kidney. Lead to hypersensitivity reaction and contaminated with cancer-causing agents.

Michael F Jacobson further added that,

“The Food and Drug Administration should ban dyes, which would force industry to color foods with real food ingredients, not toxic petrochemicals.”

Behavioral problems in children with color food

A randomized, crossover trial published in the journal, ‘The Lancet’, concluded that intake of artificial food color and additives affect the child behavior. According to study findings, children age 3 years and 8-9 years receiving mix of artificial food color and additives noted hyperactivity behavior as compared to those receiving placebo. Means, artificial dye can be a major reason for hyperactivity and attention problems in children.

Experts also concluded that removing these dyes from diet can reduce behavioral symptoms in such children. In another study from Pubmed, hyperactivity behavior was greatly increased when children received drink with artificial coloring and sodium benzoate. However, hyperactivity gets significantly reduced when same children received diet eliminating of food coloring agents. The effect is not influenced by the presence or absence of hyperactivity or atopy, a condition predisposing for allergic reactions.

Hence European Parliament makes it mandatory for food industry to insert a warning label telling the impact of additives on child’s behavior.

Key to protect ourselves and children from harmful dye is checking the labeling of food packages. If you notice any color additives mentioned above it’s always good to avoid purchasing such items.

image surce;
http://blogs.prevention.com

 

Read 3274 times Last modified on Monday, 04 February 2013 09:38

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