Food additives by sdsdfqw21

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									Food additives

Allergic to food additives?

The role of food additives in causing allergies and other adverse effects has always been controversial.

Food additives include hundreds of compounds such as preservatives, colourants and flavourants that are
added to foods and beverages to enhance or improve their taste, aroma, colour, texture, or appearance, or
to preserve products.

Food additives have been around for a very long time, and the oldest and most commonly used include
salt, vinegar and sugar. Most food additives are absolutely harmless (e.g. vitamin C, citric acid, acetic acid)
and do not cause allergic reactions. A small number have been implicated in adverse reactions including
sulphur dioxide, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, monosodium glutamate (MSG) and tartrazine, and
recent clinical studies seem to indicate that they do play a role in triggering symptoms such as skin rash,
asthma, runny nose, hay fever, and eczema. Adverse reactions are usually dose–related and occur after
prolonged exposure. Only certain individuals seem to be sensitive and adverse reactions to food additives
affect only 0.12 to 2% of the population.

The main culprits


Preservatives

    1. Sulphites:
       These include sulphur dioxide, sodium sulphite and
       potassium metabisulphite. They are added to
       processed foods, fruit juice concentrates, wine and
       pharmaceutical products. Adverse reactions include
       difficulty with breathing, skin rash, and even life–
       threatening anaphylactic reactions (swelling of face
       and throat).

    2. Benzoates & Parabens:
       e.g. Sodium benzoate, benzoic acid, and methyl–
       paraben. These prevent spoilage of foods caused by
       fungi, yeasts, bacteria and other micro–organisms.
       Symptoms include swelling of face, skin rash, runny
       nose and hay fever. Some foods contain natural
       benzoates e.g. cinnamon, berries, and tea.

    3. Nitrates & Nitrites:
       These preserve meat and give it an attractive pink
       colour. Most processed meats such as ham, bacon,
       sausages, cold meats, polony and viennas. It has
       been implicated as a trigger of asthma, skin rash,
       runny nose and hay fever in sensitive individuals.

Flavourants

    1. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG):
       MSG is a flavour enhancer found in Aromat and Chinese seasoning. MSG sensitivity is relatively
       uncommon, only occurring in 0.2% of the general population. In sensitive individuals it can trigger
       asthma attacks as well as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” which includes a burning sensation in
       the chest, neck pain, flushing, headaches, and a rapid heartbeat.

    2. Tartrazine:
       A yellow food colourant used widely in foods, beverages and pharmaceutical products, that may
       cause skin rashes, and is thought to trigger hypersensitivity in susceptible children.




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Can I get tested for food additive intolerance?

There is currently no reliable test to diagnose food additive intolerance. VEGA tests, bio–energy field
evaluation and kinesiology provide no diagnostic value for food additive allergy sufferers and are not
recommended.

If you think that you may have a food additive sensitivity, it is important that you read food labels carefully
and avoid processed foods that contain the additives that affect you.

Compiled by Rowena Curr, Consulting Dietician
Energi, May 2008




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