Whether you know it or not, synthetic food dyes are used to make everything from canned fruit to popular beverages look better in an effort to whet your appetite and elicit a certain craving. However, it may also be linked to a serious illness.
“While manufacturers have developed hundreds of synthetic food dyes over the past century, most of them are toxic,” Lorne J. Hofseth, director of the Colon Cancer Research Center at the University of South Carolina, wrote for The Conversation. Despite the fact that “none of the FDA-approved artificial food colors have been classified as carcinogenic, currently available research points to potential health risks that I and others find worrisome.”
Referring to potential concerns, Hovseth explained that “The bacteria in your gut can break down artificial dyes into molecules known to cause cancer.” Furthermore, “studies have shown that synthetic food dyes can bind to DNA and proteins within cells.”
For example, Hofseth points to research on rodents that found artificial food dyes caused damage to their DNA.
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Hofseth’s research team even found during lab tests that Red 40 and Yellow 5, specifically, can cause DNA damage in colon cancer cells. However, he notes in his article in The Conversation that more research is needed in order to determine if there is a link between artificial dyes and colorectal cancer.
Dr.. Rashmi Biakudi Health and Wellness Writer and Magazine Editor The best for nutrition, echoing Hofseth’s concerns. “A recent research study revealed that artificial food dyes are one of the reasons for the increased number of early colorectal cancer cases,” Biacudi says. Eat this, not that!
As much as you can do to avoid these artificial food dyes, take comfort in the fact that some food manufacturers are actively moving away from the fake stuff in favor of more natural ingredients.
Many food companies are aware of the dangers of artificial food dyes and will label their foods as ‘plant-based colouring’ to indicate that they get their food colors from fruits, vegetables and Not “Artificial food colorings,” says Heather Hanks, a registered dietitian and medical advisor for Medical Solutions BCN. This is, of course, a “refreshing” step in the right direction, but more can still be done.
If you want to avoid potentially harmful artificial dyes, be sure to read about 17 surprising foods that contain chemicals and food dyes.