Gill Stannard

Monday, January 29, 2007

Food additive references

The evidence for and against food additives is probably the most contentious I have ever assessed, second only to vaccinations. They both are highly emotive.

The official (and this includes government and dieticians) line is that all additives that have been sanctioned for use in this country are safe (within a specified dosage range), though a few individuals have demonstrable allergies – they are the minority.

But some scientific (see clickable guide below) and certainly a lot of anecdotal evidence, seems to suggest otherwise.

Some aspects of the additive saga that have not been adequately investigated include the synergistic and cumulative effects of a wide variety of chemicals added to the diet, overall dosage of these different additives and environmental issues that may be causing us to be more intolerant/allergic individuals.

Additives generally considered safe:
Colours
101 (B2)
160(a) (betacarotene, Vitamin A)

Antioxidants
300-304 (types of Vitamin C)
306-309 (types of Vitamin E)

Emulsifier
322 (lecithin)

Stabilizers
375 (niacin)
40 (pectin)

In an allergic individual (prone to rashes, asthma, eczema, hayfever etc) treat all other additives with suspicion.

If you experience mood changes or suspect your child of having ADHD or learning difficulties – an unrefined diet will have the added benefit of being nutrient rich, regardless if the jury is still out on the role additives play in these conditions.

References

A clickable reference guide to each additive, linking to abstracts from medical databases

Food Intolerance Network - Sue Dengate (mother and author of books on food intolerances). Check out the Nasty Foods awards.

Top 20 additives to avoid and also the handful that are ok to eat.

MBM additive guide

update: check out a further post on additives in infant medicines

2 comments:

Claire said...

Hi Gill

I heard you talking about food additives on RRR a couple of weeks ago (very informative thank you! We have now changed to sulfur free apricots!) ... and i just had a question about an ingredient we found on the label of some organic sausages. It listed lots of organic ingredients and then two Non-organic ingredients which were natural skins and "Colloidal Silver". After doing a bit of google research I haven't come up with a reason why there might be Colloidal Silver in our sausages - do they use it for a preservative, or is it something they might have fed to the animals? Have you got any ideas?

Health Trip said...

I wouldn't consider colloidal silver a food, nor did I see it mentioned in any of the food additives guides, so it maybe it is slipping in to foods unregulated by the industry? That issue aside, I have never jumped on the bandwagon for using colloidal silver as a supplement. I'm guessing like you its been used as a preservative, in the hope it will slow down oxidation.