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The Hidden Health Risks of Food Dyes

By Milton Stokes, M.P.H., R.D., "Live or Let Dye," November/December 2010

How bad is Red 40 and more synthetic dyes?


READER'S COMMENT:
"I'm a 19 year old male college student who in the past 8 months have switched from an unhealthy conventional diet to a holistic, wholesome and organic diet. My life has flipped from upside down to right side up. I could never live my life...
COMMENTS POSTEDsort icon

I'm a 19 year old male college student who in the past 8 months have switched from an unhealthy conventional diet to a holistic, wholesome and organic diet. My life has flipped from upside down to right side up. I could never live my life any other way now. I encourage anyone and everyone to do the same to unleash an inner part of them they may have never met that will change your life for the better, even if it's already great.

Anonymous

10/27/2014 - 3:15am

Dyes have been used since antiquity, and cannot be seen as responsible for the increase in food consumption. However, what's changed about dyes over time is how much has been used, and the constituents of the dyes. Since the roman times, heavy metal salts, such as iron, arsenic and copper, were used to make foods more appealing and to hide age. Today, all these poisonous salts have been replaced with synthetic chemicals used in very small amounts. As to the coal origin of these dyes, they are made from exactly the same molecules that make up our body's essential sugars, amino acids, proteins, and DNA. In fact, almost all of the medicines that we take for granted are based from petroleum, as this is an easy starting point to safely synthesize precise quantities of specialty chemicals.

Tl;dr: Dyes have been used for centuries, and the dyes we have today are much safer than those of previous times.

Anonymous

08/12/2014 - 10:45pm

The last statement in the article is misleading. Artificial color does not implicitly mean it was derived from nature or that it is natural. If it did, it'd be called natural colors! Bear in mind that at least one naturally derived color is known to be potentially harmful/fatal to some people, and that's "carmine", a.k.a. cochineal extract, which is most often labeled as "Color Added". Don't know what that is? Crushed beetles -- essentially it's beetle juice. GROSS!

Anonymous

09/12/2012 - 11:16am

These chemicals are derived from petroleum products. Originally, they were extracted from - burned coal - but now have more refined techniques to synthesize them from petroleum byproducts. Sounds like something we should put into food to me.

I'm an adult who has issues with concentration after consuming these chemicals - so I'm certain that these can have these affects on kids.

Anonymous

11/20/2010 - 8:32am

We have completely eliminated any and all food/drink containing synthetic dyes from our son's diet and have noticed a definite difference for the better regarding his adhd symptoms.

Anonymous

11/10/2010 - 12:56pm

This is why prgrams like www.feingold.org are so important.

Anonymous

10/19/2010 - 10:17am



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