Friday, May 17, 2013

Are you Allergic to Food Additives?

Food additives are of many types and differ in their usage. Each category of food additives amongst the popular and unpopular ones, has a special offering of its own, which is used to enhance the food products in some way or the other. Be it the basic food preservatives, emulsifiers, thickeners and stabilizers, vegetable gums, flavorings, colorings, etc. Though all of these additives are added in very small quantities, they are still capable of having allergic reactions in certain cases. Let us have a look at a few of these food additive allergies in detail, and understand what additives cause what allergies.

Colorings Agents

A number of natural and artificial coloring agents are used in cooking. Some of the allergy causing coloring agents are annatto, saffron and carmine. Annatto extract is known to cause allergic reactions alike anaphylaxis and urticaria. Saffron again causes anaphylaxis. Just like saffron and annatto, carmine is also capable of allergic reactions. All of these can cause adverse reactions, even after being natural food colorants. Apart from these, even tartrazine is also notorious for common allergies.


Food emulsifier are used as thickening agents to make the food more viscose and thick. All the natural emulsifiers like egg, yolk, honey, etc use a common constituent lecithin that causes allergies to many. Check by having a small quantity before adding it to the complete meal.

Vegetable Gums 

Vegetable gums are used just like food emulsifiers. Amongst the popular gums used in cooking. Many of them are infamous for aggravating breathing problems like asthma and bronchitis.


Natural food preservatives are usually harmless food additives. Allergy causing preservatives are sulfites, benzonites and nitrates, all of which are artificial food preservatives. The commonly caused preservatives allergies are urticaria, anaphylaxis, asthma, allergic rhinitis, itching and flushing.

Warning Signs of Food Allergies:

  • Tiredness, drowsiness, no energy.
  • Frequent headache or migraines.
  • Stomach bloating, nausea, diarrhea, constipation,  flatulence
  • IBS, Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
  • Mouth Ulcers.
  • Chronic cough, bronchitis, asthma, sinus condtions,     colds and 'flu'.
  • Eczema, psoriasis, and chronic skin problems.
  • Aching joints, backache.
  • Gradual weight change.
  • Tinea or Yeast (Candida) infections.
  • Clumsiness, lack of coordination.
  • Miscarriage, infertility.
  • Hemorrhoids and Ear pain.
  • Cravings, addictions.
  • ADD & ADHA
  • Acid Reflux (GERD)
  • Fibromyalgia

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