Food additives: What you don’t know can (and does) hurt you

July 12, 2009

food additiveA discovery that two commonly used food additives are estrogenic has led scientists to suspect that many ingredients added to the food supply may be capable of altering hormones.

The first food additive, propyl gallate, is a preservative used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling. It can be found in a range of foods including baked goods, shortening, dried meats, candy, fresh pork sausage, mayonnaise and dried milk.

The second additive, 4-hexyl resorcinol, is used to prevent shrimp, lobsters, and other shellfish from discoloring.

Synthetic chemicals that mimic natural estrogens (called “xenoestrogens,” literally, “foreign estrogens”) have been linked to a range of human health effects. They range from reduced sperm counts in men to an increased risk of breast cancer in women.

More than 3,000 preservatives, flavorings, colors and other ingredients are added to food in the United States, and none of them are required to undergo testing for estrogenic activity, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Globally, the market for additives is expected to reach more than $33 billion by 2012. There are five main reasons that companies add compounds to food: to emulsify, to preserve, to add nutritional content, to add flavor or color and to balance alkalinity and acids.

The best way to avoid harmful food additives is to eat whole, inprocessed (not in a box) food and to thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables.

Rest of story http://tiny.cc/BG4lP
Find more information at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302125924.htm

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