Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Artificial Dyes and your health: what are the risks?

In Europe foods containing six synthetic dyes that have been linked to behavioral problems in kids must carry the warning "May have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children." In the US, three of the eight colorings are off the market.  The rest are possibly up for banning by the FDA.  This recommendation is being pushed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  This comes as a result of studies from 2004 that have determined that the dyes may be responsible for hyperactivity disorder in children.

What are the facts?

Studies dating back to the 1970s show that they may cause behavioral problems in children.  Most children are sensitive to the chemicals.  A small few are extremely sensitive. This information is voiced by David Schab, MD, a psychiatrist at Columbia University Medical Center in the Essence Magazine article, "Banned in Europe, okay here?" written by Sari Harrar.

In summary

Best bet  for  your family is to avoid the brightly colored processed foods and candies.  The dyes in question include:

yellow 5
red 40
blue 1
blue 2
green 3
orange B
yellow 6

These colors are found in cereals, macaroni and cheese, candy, crackers, tortilla chips and children vitamins.

Sources:

Harrar, Sari, "Banned in Europe, Okay here?" Essence Magazine
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