Food Additives in Your Diet that Harms your Body

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Food additives are substances added during the process of making your food. But, some of these additives can cause health problems such as heart disease.

What are food additives?

Food additives are substances added during the process of making your food. Food additives give food a smooth and consistent texture, improve or preserve the nutrients value, maintain wholesomeness of food such as reducing spoilage of food from bacteria. Additives also provide color and enhance the flavor of foods.

Direct and Indirect Additives

Additives are either direct or indirect.

Direct food additives are usually added during the process of the food to help the processing, add nutrients, and make product fresh and appealing. Direct additives include herbs and spices and salt in order to preserve meat. Direct additives are place in the food on purpose.

Indirect additives are added to the food during or after processing. They are place in the food without a purpose during processing and are added in small amounts.

The main concern is man-made additives that are added to foods that can cause health problems.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes are found in numerous food and beverages. The products that they are in will say sugar-free or diet. Artificial sweeteners can cause a variety of heath problem including:

Researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel had found no calorie artificial sweeteners appear to cause glucose intolerance in mice and humans. The sweeteners change gut microbiota (formerly called gut flora) is the name given today to the microbe population living in our intestine.) According to researchers instead of helping to prevent obesity and metabolic disease they may contribute to the rise of these diseases.

Heart Disease
Researchers from the University of Miami and Columbia University set out to determine the link between diet soda and vascular events such including stroke. For the study 2,564 participants from the Northern Manhattan study were followed for ten years. All participants were over the age of forty and never had a stroke. At the start of the study participants filled out a food frequency questionnaire indicated their diet soda intake; none (less than one per month), Light (one diet soda a month to six diet sodas per week) and daily (one or more diet soda daily). Each year researcher’s contacted participant’s to inquire about changes in risk factors, medications, health problems and hospitalizations.

At the end of the ten year study participants that drank diet sodas daily had an increased risk for stroke, heart attack or death due to vascular events. The study is published in the Journal of General internal Medicine.

Sodium Sulphite

Sodium Sulphite is a preservative used in processed food.

People with asthma that are either steroid dependent or have a great degree of airway hyperactivity have an increased risk of having a reaction to foods that contain this preservative. Bronchospasm, angiodema, urticaria, nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea have also been reported in asthmatics eating foods containing the additive.

Artificial Food Coloring

A study from the United Kingdom in 2007 had concluded that artificial food coloring or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.

A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in a meta-analysis concluded food coloring has an effect on children with hyperactivity behavior including extreme hyperactivity behavior.

According to the FDA food color Yellow NO. 5 can cause allergic reactions (including bronchial asthma) in certain susceptible persons.

Food dyes Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 3 are known carcinogens according to a report by Center for Science in the Public interest.


Sulfites are chemicals used as preservatives to stop browning and discoloration in food and beverages. The FDA in 1986 banned sulfites due to severe allergic reactions. The ban on sulfites was for fresh fruits and vegetables. Sulfites can still be found in beer and wine, potatoes, shrimp, medications. Sulfites are added to some asthma medications and have been suspected as a cause of asthma symptoms ranging from mile to life-threatening.

Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is an additive added to flour to strengthen the dough, allow it to rise higher and give the finished bread an appealing white color. In mice and rats potassium bromate increased the risk of benign and malignant tumors in the thyroid, kidneys and other organs. In 1999 the International Agency for Research on Cancer determined that potassium bromate is a possible human carcinogen . It is not allowed for use or is banned as a food additive in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and the European Union.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High-fructose corn syrup is a common sweetener in sodas and fruit-flavored drinks. According to a new review paper published last year in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology high fructose can syrup can lead to weight gain, higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The paper had reviewed data from epidemiological studies and found consuming one or two servings of sugar sweetened beverages is linked with as high as a 26 percent great risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, 32 percent great risk for a heart attack or fatal heart disease and a 16 percent increase4d risk for stroke.


Emulsifiers used as a food additive to stabilize processed foods. Researches published February 25th, 2015 in Nature suggest that emulsifiers may be practically responsible for the increased incidence of IBD and metabolic syndrome. The team fed mice two very commonly used emulsifiers to mice and found emulsifier consumption changed the species composition of the gut microbiota and did so in a manner that made it more pro-inflammatory.

FDA Additive Approval

FDA has the primary legal responsibility for determining safe use of food and color additives.

When evaluating the safety of a substance and whether it should be approved, FDA considers: 1) the composition and properties of the substance, 2) the amount that would typically be consumed, 3) immediate and long-term health effects, and 4) various safety factors.

The levels of color and food additivities use that are granted approval are much lower than what would be expected to have any adverse effect.

Due to limitations of science, the FDA must determine - based on the best science available - if there is a reasonable certainty of no harm to consumers when an additive is used as proposed.

When an additive is approved the FDA issues regulations such as the type of food it can be used In or the amounts that can be used in food.

In 1999, procedures changed so that FDA now consults with USDA during the review process for ingredients that are proposed for use in meat and poultry products.


“Food additives.” 1 Nov. 2016. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.
SarahS. 6 common food Preservatives and their nasty side effects. 6 Nov. 2012.
“CFR - code of federal regulations title 21.” Jan. 2016. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.
New research exposes the health risks of fructose and sugary drinks - American college of Cardiology.” American College of Cardiology, 28 Sept. 2015.

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Meet the author

author avatar authordeb
Author of the Love and Laughter series
Alternative Medicine Practitioner
Freelance Health Write
Works with Media companies for interviews and articles such as Howie Mandel for Afib,

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