Saturday, February 7, 2009

Synthetic Food Dyes and Your Health

Look at the ingredients label of almost any non-organic processed food (as well as jarred foods) and you will undoubtedly see synthetic food dyes.; FD&C yellow #5, FD&C blue #1, FD&C Red #3 or #40. They're in most of the products often advertised as being healthy (cereals, juices, soups, etc.), and they're most definitely in those that are not (snacks, candy, soda...). The truth is you'd be hard pressed to find a non-organic packaged food that doesn't contain synthetic dyes. The question is, are they hazardous to your health?

There has been a lot of research done on this very topic, with the evidence piling high against them. They have been linked to allergies, tumors, depression, sleeplessness, as well as handful of others. These toxins often work against vital nutrients within our bodies, causing many of the afore mentioned disorders. One bad combination in particular is yellow #5 and it's affects on Vitamin B6 in the body.

Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in cell development within the body, as well as maintaining a healthy immune system. As with many nutrients within the body there are opposing forces (enemies if you will) in the form of toxins working against them, leaving the body’s immune system weakened. Just as air pollution can affect levels of vitamin C with the body, yellow #5 has been shown to have a negative affect when it comes to maintaining optimum levels of B6 within the body. Deficiencies in a key nutrient such as B6 can lead to a number of disorders such as kidney problems, depression, and carpal tunnel syndrome, all of which have seen rises in the number of diagnosed cases within America that seems to conveniently correspond to an increased usage of such dyes (as yellow #5) within the food industry.

These dyes have become so commonly used within the food industry that the intake of yellow #5 for example is in many cases greater than that of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6; about 8 times to be exact. So with the use of these toxins at such an alarming level, as well as the typical American’s unhealthy diet (high in processed foods), what chance are we really giving ourselves to live a healthy pain free, disease free life?

The only real way to eliminate these hazards from our lives is with a diet rich in fresh organic produce, whole grains, and minimally processed foods. It’s what your body is asking for, so isn’t it time we listen?

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