Are food dyes posing a risk to our health? Synthetic food dyes are found in many processed foods, from salad dressing to your favorite frozen treat. These ingredients may also be linked to cancer.
What the Experts Have to Say About Artificial Food Dyes
Lorne J. Hofseth, the Director of the Center for Colon Cancer Research at the University of Southern California, confirms that most synthetic food dyes manufactured in the past century are toxic. The FDA has not classified any artificial food dyes on the market as carcinogenic, but recent research suggests that they may cause health problems.
Hofseth explains that gut bacteria can process food dyes into carcinogenic molecules. His research team ran tests and discovered that Red 40 and Yellow 5, in particular, can damage DNA in colon cancer cells. Hofseth cautioned that more studies need to be conducted to fully establish a link between synthetic food colors and colorectal cancer.
Another recent study revealed that an increase in colorectal cancer cases occurring earlier in life was linked to artificial food dyes.
Heather Hanks, a nutritionist and medical advisor for Medical Solutions BCN, says that many food manufacturers are mindful of the hazards posed by synthetic food colors. These companies are increasingly turning away from artificial food color, replacing it with coloring obtained from vegetation. Labels that say ‘color from plant sources’ indicate that these products are safer to consume as they do not contain artificial dye.
What You Can Do
This move by food companies is progress. We, however, have to be vigilant about our health and try as much as possible to steer clear of products that contain artificial food dyes.