What Chemical Additives Trigger Allergies?

Thursday, 26 Sep 2013 04:59 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: What chemical additives and preservatives in different foods present a risk or trigger allergies?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
All chemical additives can trigger allergies. The worst offenders are the food colorings permitted to make food look fresher.
 
Avoid butchers who add red coloring to meat. Avoid tartrazine dyes and FD and C yellow dyes, which may contribute asthma in some.
 
MSG is a favorite to make greens seem bright after being cooked, but avoiding this may prevent migraine headaches and sniffles in those who are sensitive. Try not to store foods in plastic, as the plastics can degrade especially with fatty foods.
 
Use glass to store food and avoid pottery cups that contain colors and chemicals in the glaze that may also be toxic. Some glazes have lead and other heavy metals and while it is OK to drink from them, avoid storing food and liquid in glazed containers or in soft plastic containers or bags.
 
If you want to use plastic storage bags, place food in a glass container and slip it into the bag so food does not come in direct contact with the plastic. Do not store alcohol or drinks in leaded crystal, which can dose you with poisonous lead. Occasionally drinking from crystal poses low risks.

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