Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs)—like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis—affect millions of people around the world. They cause lasting structural damage—such as inflammation, ulcers, and sores—to your gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Until now no one could really pinpoint exact causes behind IBDs.
However a new study made an eye-opening discovery: Some very commonplace and “colorful” foods may actually TRIGGER these debilitating diseases.
For this study, researchers fed lab mice a normal diet—or a diet that included something called Allura Red AC (FD&C Red 40 or E129) for 12 weeks.
To the researchers’ surprise the Red Dye caused new inflammation in their GI tracts. It also disrupted the gut barrier. It even increased serotonin production in the gut, which, in turn, increases susceptibility to IBDs. In fact, the researchers said there’s enough evidence to suggest Allura Red AC may “trigger” IBD in otherwise healthy subjects!
These results offer a serious warning about the potential dangers of food dyes in our diet. Perhaps worst of all is the fact that we’ve known about the problems with Allura Red FC for almost 50 years! And one of the most long-standing concerns involves its effect on behavior in children—which is why many countries in Europe (including France, Germany, and Switzerland) banned it years ago.Avoiding these “colorful” foods could be instrumental in aiding patients suffering with IBD.
How to Know If Red Dye 40 Is in Food
It would be hard to determine if restaurant food contains the red dye. But on packaged food, the FDA requires food manufacturers to list ingredients, including color additives. Look for the following on packaging labels:
- Red 40
- Red 40 Lake
- FD&C Red No. 40
- Food Red 17
- Allura Red AC
As you might have guessed, Allura Red AC is one of the most widely used food dyes in the world. You commonly find it in breakfast cereals, soft drinks, dairy products, candies, and even vitamins!
Now, since you’ll find Allura Red FC in countless products in the United States, it’s up to YOU to keep it out of your diet.
Author: Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., DACBN, MS, CFMP
The information in this post is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Visit www.FunctionalMedicineUniversity.com for more information on our training in functional medicine. Look for practitioners who have successfully completed the Functional Medicine University’s Certification Program (CFMP) www.functionalmedicinedoctors.com. This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required