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The Real Deal with Food Dyes

By Sara Butler

Food dyes are everywhere. You can find them in a wide range of products, from sports drinks to candy to smoked salmon. They’re even in salad dressing! In the last 50 years alone, consumption of artificial food dye has increased by 500 percent! Some people claim that food dye has detrimental effects on your health, but is that the truth? Here’s what you need to know about food dyes and how they may be impacting you and your family.

Food Dyes: What Are They Anyway?

Food dyes are basically chemicals used to enhance the look of a food by brightening up the color. This isn’t a new concept, since adding color to food to make it more appealing is something that has been happening for a couple of centuries.

Food dyes these days are made from petroleum, and many have been developed over the years only to find out later that they’re toxic. This is why today you will only find a handful of dyes used in foods that have been deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

Dyes Used Today

Here are the food dyes you are most likely to find in food today:

  • Red Dye No. 3
  • Red Dye No. 40
  • Yellow Dye No. 5
  • Yellow Dye No. 6
  • Blue Dye No. 1
  • Blue Dye No. 2

Of these, the most prevalent are Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5, and Yellow No. 6. They make up 90 percent of all food dye used in the United States.

Do They Cause Problems?

You may have heard that there is a link between food dye and hyperactivity in children, but that link doesn’t have much supporting evidence. Several studies have been done and the only concrete conclusions that can be drawn are that every child reacts differently to food dyes and that the evidence collected does not support the conclusion that the dyes are unsafe in any way. If you suspect your child may be sensitive, then it may be best to avoid food dyes.

Be Aware: More Research is Needed

With consumption of food dyes on the rise, especially in children, it’s definitely something you may want to keep an eye on. Even though no link has been established between food dye and health risks, research is always ongoing. So keep up on the news surrounding food dyes and be conscious of the items they may be in that you are feeding your family.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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