Food coloring found in dozens of family favorite snacks could cause serious intestinal problems, scientists warn.
Red 40, also known as Allura Red, is in many popular candies, sodas and chips — including Doritos, Skittles and Pepsi — as well as baked goods and cake mixes.
But researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, have found that the added nutrient can interfere with the gut’s ability to absorb nutrients, water and electrolytes and increase a person’s risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease.
This weakening of the body’s defenses makes people more susceptible to ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, they say.
Although the study was conducted on mice, the researchers said the findings would translate to people in Western countries, whose diets often contain food dyes.
Red 40, also known as Allura Red, is found in many popular candies, sodas and chips — including Doritos, Skittles and Pepsi — as well as baked goods and cake mixes.
“These findings have important implications for the prevention and control of inflammatory bowel disease,” said lead researcher Dr. Waliyal Khan.
He added: ‘What we found is amazing and shocking as this common artificial food coloring is a dietary trigger for IBDs.’
The findings were. Published In the journal Nature Communications.
Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as colitis and Crohn’s disease, a chronic disease that causes inflammation in your digestive tract, are estimated to affect about three million Americans.
The use of food coloring has increased over the past 100-plus years, but little research has been done on its effects on the gut.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limits the amount of food coloring in food and cosmetics. Still, the chemicals in paint are linked to many conditions.
As part of the study, McMaster scientists fed mice models Alara red dye in their diet for 12 weeks.
These supplements have been shown to increase serotonin production in the colon and disrupt intestinal bacteria to prevent colitis.
Serotonin – sometimes called the ‘happy hormone’ – is often talked about for its effects on the brain. Low hormone levels are often the cause of depression in people.
But it is the intestine that is responsible for producing 95 percent of the total serotonin in the body.
In the intestine, it is responsible for absorbing nutrients, electrolytes and water.
The researchers screened several common synthetic dyes in a model of human interchromaffin (EC) cells.
It affects the colon and rectum and can cause a variety of issues related to inflammation, including abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, dehydration, and bloody stools.
Dr. Khan said, “The literature suggests that the use of Allura Red can help with some allergies, immune disorders, and behavioral problems in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”
Studies have suggested a link between food coloring consumption and hyperactivity in children.
In the year In an April 2021 survey of studies conducted by the state of California, 16 of the 25 total studies on the subject identified a link between food coloring and neurobehavioral problems, particularly worsening attention problems, such as in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and other behavioral problems. results.
Red 40, also Yellow 5, and Yellow 6 It contains benzidinePermitted human and animal carcinogens at low levels, probably in safe dyes.
In 2015, the FDA In 1985, free benzidine intake was calculated to increase cancer risk below the ‘critical’ threshold, or 1 cancer in 1 million people.