The other day I was looking around for some articles and found this one… I think that it is a great one that explains well what the additives are and what they do…  and then he goes on to talk about alternatives… The only think that is not mentioned are that artificial flavours including Vanillin (fake vanilla) come from the same sources and have the same effects…

Here is part of it… and you can read the rest on the author’s site…

Replace Artificial Food Colors with Natural food Colors
by Pete Maletto

Jan 25, 2007 – It was not long ago when I was conducting my daily ritual of research on the internet and stumbled upon consumers growing concerns about artificial food colors. While it didn’t surprise me because I have the same concerns, I noticed that many consumers are complaining about side effects with artificial colors. Most consumers are concerned about yellow dye consumption and its side effects such as headaches, vomiting, hives, asthma and a possible cause of ADD and ADHD.

While I found that yellow dye has quite a laundry list of possible side effects, I also found that red dye has its share as well. One that really amuses me is that this artificial food color can actually dye our own internal systems red color (they do this with salmon to make the pink color).

While side effects are not as documented as it should be, there also seems to be some people that have allergic reactions to most artificial colors. Just ask any doctor that performs colonoscopies and you’ll hear him tell you about artificial blue color and red color showing up and coloring the colon for days. This has lead many consumers to believe that artificial colors are bad for you and that they are another cancer causing agent found in foods today. Now the media is piling on and consumers are starting to avoid artificial food colors.

And as an experienced food technologist, I tend to agree…..

The FDA manages the Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) as an added safety check on color additives to food, with a computerized database to track potential public health hazards. FDA’s Advisory Committee on hypersensitivity to food constituents concluded in 1986 that FD&C Yellow No. 5 may cause hives in fewer than one out of 10,000 people, but found no evidence that it provokes asthma attacks as some reports had indicated. You would think a system as sophisticated as this would catch the problems but they decided to permit the usage of Yellow No. 5 to continue, with product labeling allowing those with hypersensitivity to avoid it.

Yellow dye is basically a hidden term for tartrazine, a coal tar derivitive which has proven side effects on the central nervous system. For example, in a study published in 1978, 122 patients who had a variety of diagnosed allergic reactions were given 50 milligrams of tartrazine.

This dose elicited reactions such as palpitations, weakness, hives and itching in these susceptible individuals; 50 milligrams is a large dose, but could be consumed by someone drinking a few bottles of soda during the day. Or a serving of Mac and Cheese to your kids (get the hyperactive hint here?) which has close to 50 mg per box and at a childs body weight, that’s a lot of tartrazine. It is also important to note that there is a connection between people allergic to aspirin and allergic reactions to tartrazine.

Usage of Red No. 3 was voluntarily terminated in 1990 after animal testing indicated an association with thyroid tumors. Although it still remains on the list, the FDA is proposing to remove it. A panel from the National Institutes of Health determined in 1982 that coloring additives were not related to claims of hyperactivity (look at the kids today and it makes you think twice). Although approved by the FDA, some people may still have allergic reactions.

Currently, any blue or green food on the U.S. market gets its hues from certifiable colors FD&C Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue), Blue No. 2 (Indigotine), or Green No. 3 (Fast Green). Blue No. 1 and Green No. 3 are both petroleum-derived triphenylmethanes–that is, they have three aromatic rings attached to a central carbon atom. Blue No. 2 is a disodium sulfonate of a naturally occurring compound called indigo.

However, the indigo used to create Blue No. 2 is synthesized by fusing N-phenylglycine in a molten mix of sodamide and sodium and potassium hydroxides. And we are feeding these chemicals to our kids!

Lets face it, there is no way you could tell me that something that can stain the cells of our body and come from chemicals such as coal tar/tartrazine, triphenylmethane, and other chemicals would not cause some type of mutagenic effect in the body over a period of time.

None the less, it’s seems obvious to me that consuming artificial colors can definitely cause side effects with some people (some side effects that they may not even notice) and they are quite possibly “cancer causing chemicals” that we do not need in our food supply, especially when healthy alternatives exist.

Read more about the alternatives….