Natural Health Journals

The Color Blue Is Not Good For You!

How does the color blue make you feel?  Do you associate blue with certain qualities or situations?  How do you feel about food and drinks that are blue in color?   Is this color safe and healthy for you?

Why should you and your kids avoid the color blue in your food and drinks?  Because there is increasing evidence that food colorings cause hyperactivity,reflux, and gas in children.  Some people believe that any parent who suspects their child’s behavior and health is linked to foods containing bright food colorings, such as blue, should ban these from their diet.  Foods which are causing concern include fizzy drinks, party cakes, luridly colored sweets and some crisps.

Researchers examined the impact of six artificial colourings blue, sunset yellow, carmoisine, red, tartrazine and ponceau.  They found the activity of children who consumed a mixture of these colourings was measurably affected.  Some food industries have already taken action to remove colourings from food and supermarkets have introduced labeling on products that are free from artificial colourings. Parents whose children show signs of hyperactivity might want to think about removing these artificial colours from their diets.   Use of blue colourings should be restricted in all foods, not just those for children.  Other additives below should also be eliminated from children’s diets as well:

TARTRAZINE: Found in: Soft drinks, ice-cream, and sweets, fish fingers. What it is: Synthetic dye mixed with blue dyes to produce shades of green Effects: Linked to allergic reactions, migraine, and blurred vision. With benzoic acid may cause hyperactivity in children

QUNOLINE: Found in: Sweets, soft drinks. What it is: Synthetic dye derived from coal tar? Also used in cosmetics and as pigment for tattoos effects: Linked to dermatitis. It is also believed to cause hyperactivity and temper tantrums in children

SUNSET YELLOW: Found in: Sweets, yoghurts, packet bread crumbs, cheap jam.  What it is: Coal tar dye Effects: Blamed for triggering stomach upsets, nettle rash and swelling of the skin and has been linked for some time with hyperactivity in children CARMOISINE Found in: Sweets, yoghurts, ices, blancmanges, marzipan What it is: Coal tar dye Effects: Said to trigger reactions such as nettle rash and water retention in people allergic to aspirin. Campaigners have argued that it can cause hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder in children.

PONCEAAU: Found in: Sweets, tinned fruits, jellies, deserts, cough medicines. What it is: Derived from coal tar Effects: Linked to difficulties for asthmatics and for people allergic to aspirin, as well as being said to cause hyperactivity in children

 ALLURA RED: Found in: Sweets, soft drinks, and condiments. What it is: Coal-tar-derived dye, often mixed with yellow dyes to produce an orange colour Effects: Linked to adverse reactions to people intolerant to aspirin and to hyperactivity in children Allura Red

A multitude of food colourings should be banned from use in food and drink products, which would force manufacturers to find healthy alternatives. The government should launch an investigation to re-evaluate the safety of all authorized food additives, with colours the first ingredients to be under review.

Maybe the food and beverage industry could supply data on food colours as part of a government review. Among the colours that should be reviewed are the infamous tartrazine, brilliant blue and sunset yellow, which some experts have linked to hyperactivity in children, asthma, migraines, reflux and certain rashes. Also in the spotlight is cochineal, a red dye obtained by crushing beetles.  Many companies are unable to find a natural alternative to the artificial blue colouring. I read that a three year survey on the impact on children of additives such as blue, yellow and tartrazine had shown that children tested were better behaved when the substances were removed from their diet.  But an independent expert stated this evidence was not conclusive.

A maybe blue food colouring are popular in food and drinks because blue is described as a favorite color by many people and is the color most preferred by children.  Blue is often described as peaceful, tranquil, secure, and orderly.  Some weight loss plans even recommend eating your food off of a blue plate, but blue rarely occurs naturally in food aside from blueberries and some plums.  Some researchers suggest that the color blue can also lower the pulse rate and body temperature.  So maybe that is why food and drinks blue in color attract people to purchase them.