Jose Tomas, a famous Spanish bullfighter, waves a bright red cape at a bull to make it angry. President Kennedy's father Joe saw red as a way to level the playing field.
He said: "Whenever you are sitting across from an important person, picture him in a suit of long red underwear. That's the way I always operated in business."
The color red clearly has strong powers, and perhaps the most ferociously negative power is the way the red food dye Allura — also called FD&C Red 40 and Food Red 17 — may trigger irritable bowel disease (IBD).
That's the finding of a new study on mice in the journal Nature Communication. The dye, used to add color and texture to candies, soft drinks, dairy products, and cereals, caused a cascade of harmful reactions in the animals' intestines. It led to leaky gut by disrupting the gut barrier, and increased the production of serotonin that then altered the microbiome and increased the risk for colitis.
(Studies show that leaky gut can be corrected by taking 2,000 mg of bovine colostrum a day.)
If the risk of IBD isn't reason enough to never buy foods containing that red dye, how about other research that shows Allura red may be related to increased risk for allergies, immune disorders, and ADHD?
With Valentine's Day approaching, stick with reds that evoke the power of love — not provoke bowel problems.