Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sodium Benzoate Dangers in Food

Know the facts and health effects of chemical preservative named Sodium Benzoate which is used in number of foods, beverages, cosmetics, medicines and personal care products.

Almost all the foods or beverages we buy from supermarkets are processed and contain different types of additives and preservatives like salts, vinegars, herbs, etc. The preservatives increase shelf-life and maintain freshness of food, beverages and cosmetics. Now-a-days, food manufacturers use different types of specialized chemicals to extend shelf life. One such chemical preservative is Sodium Benzoate. FSA- UK and FDA have considered Sodium Benzoate safe if taken in lower concentration but many researches suggest different results. Let’s take a look at the dangers of this unhealthy preservative.
Sodium Benzoate Dangers in Food
Sodium Benzoate or E211 is often used as preservative in lots of foods, beverages, cosmetics, medicines and personal care products to prevent growth of bacteria, yeast or other microorganisms, as it the cheapest mold inhibiter on the market. It is even found naturally (at extremely low levels) in some fruits and spices such as berries, apples, plums, prunes, ripe cloves and cinnamon.
The FDA has limited the concentration of Sodium benzoate as an additive to 0.1% by weigh. These low levels are considered safe. The health effects of Sodium benzoate rely on its concentration mixed with other substances.

Health Effects of Benzoic Acid

When this unhealthy preservative is combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or vitamin E and exposed to elevated heat and light, the chemical named benzene is formed. Benzene is a carcinogen which causes leukemia and other kind of cancers in humans. Several studies have proved that long-term exposure to benzene can cause bone marrow failure and blood cancer.

Degenerative Diseases
Benzene can even cause cell death and DNA damage. It specifically attack the
the mitochondria in cells to cause DNA damage. This benzene-induced DNA damage causes degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Allergic Reactions
Sodium benzoate in beverages like carbonated drinks and fruit juices can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people. It can cause hives, asthma and other allergic reactions.

Hyperactive Behaviour
Sodium benzoate when paired with certain artificial food colours increases hyperactivity in children with ADHD. Children who consume large amounts of soft drinks daily are at high risk of Hyperactive Behaviour.

Premature Aging
The chemical damages the mitochondrial DNA and increases production of free radicals in the body. Thus, accelerate the body’s aging process.

How to Reduce Sodium Benzoate Exposure?

If you are concerned about exposing yourself to benzoate, then, read nutrition fact labels carefully and try to avoid products that contain sodium benzoate, E211, benzoic acid, benzene or benzoate, especially if you also see citric acid, ascorbic acid or vitamin C. You must stay away from processed and packaged foods for avoiding the dangers of food preservatives.

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