Calls for Caution with this Common Food Dye

Allura Red, a.k.a. FD&C Red 40 and Food Red 17 is a common synthetic food dye used in candies, soft drinks, dairy products, and some cereals, often to attract children.

new study in mice has found a concerning link between long-term consumption of this dye as a possible trigger for inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

The study’s author, Waliul Khan, professor Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, suggests that continual exposure to Allura Red AC can harm gut health by damaging gut barrier function and promoting chronic inflammation of the GI tract.

“What we have found is striking and alarming, as this common synthetic food dye is a possible dietary trigger for IBDs. This research is a significant advance in alerting the public on the potential harms of food dyes that we consume daily,” he said.

“The literature suggests that the consumption of Allura Red also affects certain allergies, immune disorders, and behavioral problems in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”

While this recent experiment was performed only on mice, Kahn suggests that the findings warrant further exploration between food dyes and IBDs at experimental, epidemiological, and clinical levels.

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