Why do American Products Contain Food Dyes that are Banned in Other Countries?

Some of the most well-known food additives on the market are high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), monosodium glutamate (MSG), and sucralose (Splenda). Here’s a brief review of what I find patients to be consuming a lot:

Food dyes (aka., artificial coloring) are used in many foods and pharmaceuticals in order to help make them more appealing and recognizable.  If a food, tablet, liquid or capsule is recognizably colored, it makes it more readily identified both as a food, dispensing of the medication, and when advertising the product. 

Do remember that pharmaceutical medications are products just like sodas, candy bars, and automobiles. There’s billions of dollars invested in “branding” a product to make it more recognizable and desirable, ultimately to increase sales and profits for the parent company. 

They dyes have been extensively studies in North America and Europe, and found to be extremely detrimental to human health.  They have been banned in many European countries but legal in the U.S. FOOD and PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY since the artificial coloring better entice consumers to ultimately drive a profit, even at the expense of the public’s health.

Common Foods Which Often Contain Artificial Coloring are: 

Prescription medicines are often distinctively shaped and colored to differentiate themselves from other brands or to indicate dosage. This has the benefit of cutting down on mistakes while dispensing medications. The problem is many of the dyes are extremely harmful.  

Red dye #40, also known as Allura Red AC, is derived from petroleum distillates or coal tars.  It contains benzidine, a known carcinogen also known to cause ADHD and behavioral issues in children.  It is  commonly used in many OTC and prescribed medicationsRefer to this link to learn more about Red Dye #40 containing medications and foods.  Being better informed will help you know which foods and medications to avoid since their associated side effects are often caused by their toxic inactive ingredients.  

Dye Yellow #5, also known as Tartrazine.  Tartrazine is an organic sodium salt (i.e. the trisodium salt of tartrazine acid).  When ingested, Tartrazine is reduced to sulfanylic acid. Sulfanylic acid often causes allergic reactions, including urticaria (hives), asthma, blood spots/skin hemorrhages, and eczema. Those most sensitive to Dye Yellow #5 often also have an aspirin allergy, indicating a genetic susceptibility.  This is why countries like Sweden, Switzerland, and Norway have withdrawn Tartrazine on the grounds of its anaphylactic potential. The United States has not.


Doctor’s Advice

The old adage applies here:  Less is More. 

Changing the American mindset is valuable. Shifting to a whole foods plant-based diet where you often cook your food from scratch will help you not only avoid tons of toxic additives, but immediately start helping you feel well.  


Dr. Bhandari and the Advanced Health Team Are Here to Support Your Health.

Our expert team of integrative holistic practitioners work with patients suffering from chronic health concern.  We help our patients reverse disease by better understanding how the body optimally functions and providing personalized treatment plan—a plan that removes a lot of the common food items that are making them sick.  To learn more and book an appointment, contact Advanced Health or call 1-415-506-9393.



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Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is one of U.S.'s top leading integrative functional medical physicians and the founder of San Francisco' top ranked medical center, SF Advanced Health. Her well-experienced holistic healthcare team collaborates together to deliver whole-person personalized care and combines the best in Western and Eastern medicine. By being an expert of cell function, Dr. Bhandari defines the root cause of illness and is able to subside any disease within weeks to months. She specializes in cancer prevention and reversal, digestive & autoimmune disorders. Dr. Bhandari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1997 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 2001 from West Virginia University. She the completed her Family Medicine residency in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts and joined a family medicine practice in 2005 which was eventually nationally recognized as San Francisco’s 1st patient-centered medical home. To learn more, go to www.sfadvancedhealth.com.

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