Food additive concerns

Food additive concerns

Food additive concerns with food colourings and behaviour



At least 60 food additives used in our foods which are questionable in terms of safety, or at worse, known to be harmful. This has been highlighted by a campaign- see the link:

It is wise to avoid as many food additives as you can.  Packet and processed foods all have additives. Beware!  I advocate a “no packet food diet!”

Food additive concerns of the big six

The BIG SIX food colours to avoid

The BIG SIX food colours to avoid





These are the food additive, food colorings that have been shown tacos the biggest issues – and there are calls for these to be banned. As a result of  the research below, these 6 colours are now being removed from ALL foods in the UK by the end of 2009. Please keep your unnecessary food additives down as much as practical.

These are the E numbers to look out for: 102, 104, 110, 122, 124, and 129.


6 colours could cause hyperactivity in children

Studies from the University of Southampton UK (2007) have confirmed that these 6 colours could cause hyperactivity in children. See link:

Background: We undertook a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial to test whether intake of artificial food colour and additives (AFCA) affected childhood behaviour.

Methods: 153 3-year-old and 144 8/9-year-old children were included in the study. The challenge drink contained sodium benzoate and one of two AFCA mixes (A or B) or a placebo mix. The main outcome measure was a global hyperactivity aggregate (GHA), based on aggregated z-scores of observed behaviours and ratings by teachers and parents, plus, for 8/9-year-old children, a computerised test of attention. This clinical trial is registered with Current Controlled Trials (registration number ISRCTN74481308). Analysis was per protocol.

Findings: 16 3-year-old children and 14 8/9-year-old children did not complete the study, for reasons unrelated to childhood behaviour. Mix A had a significantly adverse effect compared with placebo in GHA for all 3-year-old children (effect size 0·20 [95% CI 0·01–0·39], p=0·044) but not mix B versus placebo. This result persisted when analysis was restricted to 3-year-old children who consumed more than 85% of juice and had no missing data (0·32 [0·05–0·60], p=0·02). 8/9-year-old children showed a significantly adverse effect when given mix A (0·12 [0·02–0·23], p=0·023) or mix B (0·17 [0·07–0·28], p=0·001) when analysis was restricted to those children consuming at least 85% of drinks with no missing data.

Interpretation: Artificial colours or a sodium benzoate preservative (or both) in the diet result in increased hyperactivity in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the general population.