Decoding the Label: A Comprehensive Guide to Food Additives and How to Safeguard Your Diet

Hello Everyone!

Today I am sharing a project I have been working on for myself. I have been increasingly concerned about food additives. I really liked the Food Babe’s additive list, however I found it to not have enough information or research on each of the items, so I wanted to create a comprehensive list of my own.

(For those of you who are not familiar with the “Food Babe,” her name is Vani Hari, and she is an author and activist advocating for healthier food choices through her blog and campaigns against specific additives and ingredients in processed foods.)

Arranged alphabetically, this compilation functions as a directory of food additives. Drawing insights from online sources, studies, trials, and more, it’s a comprehensive reference sheet I crafted for personal use and for anyone seeking this valuable information.

I’ve made an effort to include detailed source information for each item. I trust you’ll discover this list to be a valuable resource. Enjoy!

Note: I realize the explanations on this list are long and tedious to read (some people like more details, others prefer things to get to the point). If you would prefer, I also have an identical list with shorter explanations of each: Simplifying Food Labels: A Quick Guide to Food Additives for Informed Dietary Decisions


Food Additives List

Acacia Gum: (Undecided, but I prefer to avoid – not enough data available on this gum)

Acacia gum (Uh-Kay-sha Gum), also known as gum arabic, is a natural substance derived from the sap of the Acacia senegal tree and related species. It is a complex mixture of polysaccharides and glycoproteins that has been used for centuries for various purposes, including as a food ingredient, a binding agent, and in traditional medicine.

In the context of supplements, acacia gum may be used for several reasons:

1. **Binder and Encapsulation Agent:** Acacia gum has adhesive properties, making it useful as a binder in the manufacturing of tablets and capsules. It helps hold the ingredients together, allowing for the creation of a solid dosage form.

2. **Stabilizer:** Acacia gum is often used as a stabilizing agent in certain formulations. It can help maintain the stability of the supplement, preventing ingredients from separating or settling.

3. **Solubility Enhancement:** Acacia gum is soluble in water, and its inclusion in a supplement can enhance the solubility of certain ingredients. This can be particularly useful in formulations where improved dissolution and bioavailability are desired.

4. **Prebiotic Properties:** Acacia gum is a type of soluble fiber that can serve as a prebiotic, providing a source of nutrition for beneficial gut bacteria. This may contribute to digestive health.

5. **Natural and Plant-Based:** Many people appreciate acacia gum as a natural and plant-based ingredient. It is often preferred over synthetic or chemical additives in supplements.

It’s important to note that the specific role and concentration of acacia gum in a supplement can vary depending on the formulation and the intended purpose of the product.

While acacia gum is generally considered safe for consumption, some individuals may express concerns about potential side effects or allergic reactions. Here are a few reasons why such concerns might arise:

1. **Allergies:** Allergies to acacia gum are rare but can occur. Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to substances present in acacia gum, leading to adverse reactions such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing.

2. **Digestive Issues:** In some cases, the soluble fiber content in acacia gum may cause digestive discomfort, such as bloating or gas, especially when consumed in large quantities. It is a fiber source, and sudden increases in fiber intake can affect some people.

3. **Drug Interactions:** As with any supplement, there is the potential for interactions with medications. Acacia gum might affect the absorption or effectiveness of certain medications. Individuals taking medications should consult their healthcare provider before adding new supplements to their routine.

4. **Quality and Purity:** Concerns may also arise if there are issues with the quality or purity of the acacia gum used in a particular product. Contaminants or impurities could potentially cause adverse effects.

5. **Individual Sensitivities:** Each person’s body reacts differently to substances, and what is well-tolerated by most people may cause issues for a small percentage of individuals.

It’s important to note that the vast majority of people can consume acacia gum without experiencing any adverse effects.

-Source Chat GPT

It is a soluble fiber, stable in various PH and temperature ranges. Slow ferment and does not have side effects if used in the right percentage. Acacia gum showed prebiotic effects.

Source: Dr. Isabelle Jaouen is the Research & Development Director at Alland & Robert. She is the holder of a PhD about food chemistry and an engineer in food science.

Supplementation with gum arabic fiber increases fecal nitrogen excretion and lowers serum urea nitrogen concentration in chronic renal failure patients consuming a low-protein diet

-Actual name of study and nothing else

A study suggests that Acacia gum has the potential to support a healthy gut environment by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria and influencing the production of beneficial compounds like butyrate. This could be beneficial in addressing gut-related issues.

-Source: Study Manipulation of Gut Microbiota Using Acacia Gum Polysaccharide By Muhamad Hanif Rawi

The study is the first to investigate the impact of Gum Arabic (GA) on gut microbiota in a chronic kidney disease (CKD) model induced by adenine. It found that GA supplementation has a reno-protective effect by improving gut microbial dysbiosis in CKD. Additionally, GA increased the level of butyrate, a beneficial short-chain fatty acid, in the CKD animal model. The study observed that GA also influenced the abundance of specific bacterial groups, including Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Tenericutes, and Verrucomicrobia in CKD rats.

In general, some bacteria within these phyla can be beneficial or neutral in the context of the human microbiota. For example:

Actinobacteria: Some Actinobacteria are known to be beneficial, such as Bifidobacterium, which is commonly considered a probiotic and is associated with a healthy gut.

Proteobacteria: While some Proteobacteria are normal components of the gut microbiota, an overgrowth of certain Proteobacteria can be associated with dysbiosis and inflammation.

Tenericutes: This phylum includes the class Mollicutes, which includes Mycoplasma. While some Mycoplasma species can be pathogenic, others are part of the normal microbiota.

Verrucomicrobia: Akkermansia muciniphila, a bacterium within the Verrucomicrobia phylum, has been associated with a healthy gut and is being studied for its potential health benefits.

-Source: The influence of the prebiotic gum acacia on the intestinal microbiome composition in rats with experimental chronic kidney disease By Arun Prasath Lakshmanan

Acesulfame K/Acesulfame Potassium: (AVOID)

Known for causing benign thyroid cancer. It might be caused by the methylene chloride that is used to process it, however it is unclear.

The Biblical Nutritionist

This compound was discovered when a scientist accidentally licked his finger after touching the chemicals he was working with—it’s 200 times sweeter than sugar and is primarily used to make medicine palatable and is used in soft drinks, usually in conjunction with other sweeteners.

Many opponents of acesulfame potassium’s usage as a food additive point to the fact that there is not enough research done on its effects. However, a recent study found that usage of this compound could alter cognitive functions as well as affect neuro-metabolic functions, particularly in males.

Plus, acesulfame potassium contains the carcinogen methylene chloride. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause: headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver damage, kidney damage, visual disturbances and cancer.

The scientists at the Center for Science in the Public Interest affirm that what little research that was done on acesulfame potassium points to a tumor link, making this sweetener unfit for consumption.

ACE K has undergone the least amount of scientific scrutiny even though long-term exposure to methylene chloride, a main chemical component, has been shown to cause nausea, mood problems, possibly some types of cancer, impaired liver and kidney function, problems with eyesight, and more.

In addition to sweetening foods, it’s becoming increasingly popular as a “flavor enhancer.” ACE K is heat-stable and routinely found in highly processed foods and baked goods. The human body can’t break it down, and it’s believed to negatively affect the metabolism.

Acetic Acid: (Safe)

Acetic acid seems safe, in normal doses. It is the organic component of vinegar. In high concentrations it is corrosive, because it is an acid.

Acetic acid is an organic acid that can be used in the food industry, which normally has an insignificant rate of adverse reactions when used rationally.

“Lethal toxicity induced by combined ingestion of dietary acetic acid and carbamazepine”

Ammonium Bicarbonate: (appears safe but not preferable)

Used in baking sometimes. It is a leavening product. It has been used 120+ years. It has a slight odor and flavor. It helps the baked good rise and expand. Ammonium bicarbonate can leave an ammonia smell and taste in baked goods, which is not preferred by many people.

Not Suitable for People with Certain Conditions: Individuals with certain health conditions, such as kidney problems or sensitivity to ammonia, may need to avoid or limit their intake of foods containing ammonium bicarbonate.

Limited Applications: While it was historically used in some traditional recipes, ammonium bicarbonate has limited applications in modern food production due to the concerns mentioned above. Baking powder and baking soda are more commonly used as leavening agents in contemporary baking.

Chat GPT

It appears to be safe and there isn’t really any negative studies on it. It has been used a long time and as long as it isn’t accidentally inhaled, it doesn’t appear to have any side effects when used in normal doses in food.

Artificial Coloring: (AVOID)

Red Dye 3 – linked to thyroid cancer. Green – bladder cancer. Yellow – adrenal and kidney tumors.

-The Biblical Nutritionist

A small study found that 73% of children with ADHD showed a decrease in symptoms when artificial food dyes and preservatives were eliminated.

Another study found that food dyes, along with sodium benzoate, increased hyperactivity in both 3-year-olds and a group of 8- and 9-year-olds.

Tartrazine, also known as Yellow 5, has been associated with behavioral changes including irritability, restlessness, depression and difficulty with sleeping.

What’s more, a 2004 analysis of 15 studies concluded that artificial food dyes do increase hyperactivity in children.

An animal study on Blue 2 found a statistically significant increase in brain tumors in the high-dose group compared to the control groups, but the researchers concluded there was not enough evidence to determine whether Blue 2 caused the tumors.

Erythrosine, also known as Red 3, is the most controversial dye. Male rats given erythrosine had an increased risk of thyroid tumors.

Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 may contain contaminants that are known cancer-causing substances. Benzidine, 4-aminobiphenyl and 4-aminoazobenzene are potential carcinogens that have been found in food dyes.

However, with the exception of Red 3, there is currently no convincing evidence that artificial food dyes cause cancer.

Artificial Flavors: (AVOID)

Shown to be neurotoxic, affecting your brain and neurons, can cause organ damage, reproductive toxicity, and they are often carcinogenic.

The Biblical Nutritionist

Artificial flavouring hijacks your brain! That’s why when you only mean to have a handful of chips, you end up eating the whole bag. In many cases, food manufacturers actually pay scientists to produce food flavours that trick our brain into wanting more of it.

ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURING ADDS TO YOUR TOXIC BURDEN – Let’s recap that artificial flavours are chemically manufactured in labs, so they commonly contain chemicals/toxins. Remember that “flavours” are proprietary, so the company is not required to list the various chemicals that went into creating that “artificial flavour”, and all they have to write on the label is just that.

It has long been suggested that artificial colorings can have a negative effect on our bodies. And now studies are demonstrating that additives can be harmful and cause changes in behavior.

Parents report noticing calmer dispositions and better attitudes once removing foods with dyes from their children’s diets. In two studies published in 2004 and 2007, researchers from Southampton University suggested that a statistically significant increase in the hyperactivity of children occurred after they consumed common artificial food colors and additives from fruit drinks.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is the organization that provides recommendations for pediatricians to follow. A review published in the AAP Grand Rounds in February, 2008, has noted the adverse effects of artificial additives on the behavior of children in the general population as reported by a British study in September 2007. The editor of the study notes, “In each case, increased hyperactive behaviors were associated with consuming the additives.”

Artificial flavors have several possible negative effects on health and should be avoided. They are addictive, chemically produced in a lab, and are lacking any sort of nutritional benefit.

Artificial flavors are synthesized chemicals (made in a lab) that interact with each other to create a flavor usually based off one found in nature. Often, they use the same chemicals found in the natural source.

Also, like dyes such as Yellow 5 and Red 40, artificial flavors have been shown to have a worsening effect on people with asthma or predisposed to hyperactivity. What’s more, is that the RNA and thyroid may be affected.

Possible short-term side effects: headache, nausea, chest pain, dizziness, allergic reaction, confusion, hyperactivity (especially children)

Possible long-term side effects: worsen allergies, seizure, cancer

central nervous system damage, respiratory / circulatory depression, kidney damage, brain damage

Artificial Sweeteners: (AVOID)

These sugar substitutes, such as acesulfame potassium (Ace K), aspartame, and sucralose, are much sweeter than sugar and have few or no calories.

Because they’re used in “diet” foods, you may you think that if you don’t eat such products, you aren’t consuming any artificial sweeteners. But some, especially sucralose, are showing up in a variety of regular products—quite possibly because food manufacturers must now list how many grams of added sugars a product contains. “Manufacturers may use sugar and an artificial sweetener to maintain a certain level of sweetness, while keeping the total grams of added sugars low,” says Amy Keating, R.D., a dietitian at CR.

What’s the concern? Some research suggests that artificial sweeteners may be associated with increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and may cause harmful changes in the gut microbiome. And although many people turn to artificial sweeteners in an effort to help them lose weight, several studies have found that consuming artificially sweetened foods instead of sugar-sweetened ones may not actually lead to weight loss.

One small study, by researchers at George Washington University, delved deeper into the connection between artificial sweeteners and body fat. When seven overweight or obese women drank three cans of diet soda that contained sucralose and Ace K per day for eight weeks, they had increased inflammation in fat cells. One consequence of this may be that it leads to changes in the way the body uses insulin, preventing glucose from entering the cells. “In an obese or insulin-resistant individual, excess glucose gets stored as fat,” says study author Sabyasachi Sen, M.D., associate professor of medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine. In addition, the researchers saw changes that suggest that drinking diet soda may lead to the creation of more fat cells.

What about stevia? It’s known as a “natural” low-calorie sweetener—in fact, products that contain it often claim “no artificial sweeteners” on the package. Still, Vallaeys says, though the starting material may be a plant, stevia extracts are highly processed. And the evidence that stevia aids in weight loss or lowering blood sugar levels is very limited.

Ascorbic Acid: (AVOID)

Ascorbic acid is actually synthetic vitamin C, and it is usually GMO vitamin C, derived from GMO corn.

A new study adds weight to the argument that synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid) may not be such a good idea. An earlier study indicates that synthetic vitamin C may contribute to the formation of genotoxins that can lead to cancer (Science 2001 Jun 15;292(5524:2083-6), and other research results, presented to the American Heart Association but never published found that those taking 500 mg vitamin C per day had a greater tendency to thickening of the arteries (Los Angeles Times, March 3, 2000). Now new research links vitamin C supplements with reduced endurance capacity in athletes, due to interference with antioxidant enzymes (American Journal Clinical Nutrition 2008 Jan;87(1)142-149). The athletes were taking 1000 mg vitamin C per day. These results do not square with others showing a benefit for synthetic vitamin C, but do indicate a need to exercise caution. Best to get your vitamin C from fresh or lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables, raw milk and low-dose natural vitamin C supplements.

Mass produced citric acid and ascorbic acid or vitamin C, have had hidden GMO ingredients since the early 1900s, as the black mold Aspergillus niger has been used to ferment starches to derive citric acid.

Citric acid and ascorbic acid are both known accomplices to the creation of benzene, a human carcinogen, inside food and drink products alongside sodium benzoate. Studies proved that the creation of benzene could happen right inside the drink containers, while in transport, on store shelves or waiting for consumption in consumers’ homes. However, the FDA still allows them to continue using this dangerous mixture of ingredients, despite clear data on the matter.

Aspartame: (AVOID)

Animal research has also found that aspartame may impair memory performance and increase oxidative stress in the brain.

In addition, if you are pregnant or nursing, avoid this dangerous artificial sweetener at all costs. A 2014 study points to alarming news for women who consume artificial sweeteners during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. It appears that aspartame, in particular, can predispose babies to metabolic syndrome disorders and obesity later in life.

Common side effects of aspartame include headaches, migraines, mood disorders, dizziness and episodes of mania.

BHT/BHA or Butylated hydroxyanisole/butylated hydroxytoluene: (AVOID)

Food manufacturers add butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) to foods like cereal and other dry goods to help the fats in these products stay fresher longer. Both BHA and BHT are antioxidants, which means they can provide some protection from the damaging effects of oxygen exposure.

Studies suggest that consuming unusually large quantities of BHA may have some interactions with hormonal birth control methods or steroid hormones.

BHA and BHT can induce allergic reactions in the skin. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen.

Long-term exposure to high doses of BHT is toxic in mice and rats, causing liver, thyroid and kidney problems and affecting lung function and blood coagulation. BHT can act as a tumour promoter in certain situations. Limited evidence suggests that high doses of BHT may mimic estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, and prevent expression of male sex hormones, resulting in adverse reproductive affects.

Under the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, BHA is listed as a chemical of potential concern, noting its toxicity to aquatic organisms and potential to bioaccumulate. Likewise, a United Nations Environment Program assessment noted that BHT had a moderate to high potential for bioaccumulation in aquatic species (though the assessment deemed BHT safe for humans).

Carageenan: (AVOID)

Of all the gums, carageenan is probably the most controversial. It is an indigestible polysaccharide derived from red algae and is used as a thickener and emulsifier to improve the texture of ice cream, yogurt, cottage cheese, soy milk and other processed foods. There are two types of carageenan: undegraded, which is used in food; and degraded, which is not approved for use in food.

Numerous studies have shown an increase in gut inflammation, glucose intolerance, impaired insulin action and systemic inflammation with daily intake of carageenan. Regardless of the studies, the FDA still approves this as an additive. In 2015, the Joint Expert Committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization on Food Additives said that carageenan is “not of concern” when used in infant formula at concentrations up to 1,000 mg per liter. It is worth noting that, unlike the United States, the European Union has banned carageenan for this use.

In a recent study on gum reactivity, 288 subjects were evaluated for food allergy using IgE and IgG immune markers. What they found was that Carrageenan was the worst, followed by mastic gum, locust bean (carob) Xanthum gum, Beta-glucan and finally guar gum. So Guar gum was the least problematic.

In a recent study on gum reactivity, 288 subjects were evaluated for food allergy using IgE and IgG immune markers. What they found was that Carrageenan was the worst, followed by mastic gum, locust bean (carob) Xanthum gum, Beta-glucan and finally guar gum. So Guar gum was the least problematic.

Carrageenan is an extract from a red seaweed commonly known as Irish Moss. This edible seaweed is native to the British Isles, where it’s been used in traditional cooking for hundreds of years. It’s also widely used in the food industry, mostly as a thickener and gelling agent.

Who would have thought that this ancient, natural, plant-based ingredient would become center of a swirling controversy? But it certainly has. Some scientists have presented evidence that carrageenan is highly inflammatory and toxic to the digestive tract, and claim that it may be reponsible for colitis, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, and even colon cancer. Equally respected scientists have detailed the reasons that this evidence is flawed and misleading, concluding that there is no valid reason to ban its use.

The Study called “Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments” goes over carrageenan. This scientific study raises concerns about the potential health risks associated with carrageenan:

Health Risks: Inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal malignancy are identified as significant health issues in the United States, with a potential link to carrageenan exposure.

Regulatory Review: The FDA has not conducted a substantive review of carrageenan for over two decades, despite increased evidence of its potential health risks.

Carcinogenic Potential: Both undegraded and degraded carrageenan are implicated in cancer promotion, with a suggested nongenotoxic model based on direct toxic effects.

Carrageenan might cause harm is by damaging cells, disrupting the function of lysosomes (which help clean up the cell), and interfering with important chemical reactions happening within the cells. These effects could potentially contribute to health issues.

“Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments.”

The structure of carrageenan is foreign to human cells, and exposure to it causes inflammation, says Joanne Tobacman, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago, who has studied carrageenan extensively. The inflammation often affects the gastro­intestinal tract, and some people with inflammatory digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, report symptom relief when they avoid carrageenan. But according to Tobacman, carrageenan may have an effect on inflammation elsewhere in the body, too. “Inflammation is involved in many disease processes—including cancer, arthritis, and diabetes.”

Caramel Color: (AVOID)

Caramel coloring, when produced with ammonia, contains contaminants, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole. In 2007, studies by the U.S. National Toxicology Program found that those two contaminants cause cancer in male and female mice and possibly in female rats.

The manufacturing of certain artificial caramel colorings can lead to the formation of carcinogens such as 4-methylimidazole, which causes cancer in mice but not rats (or at least, not male rats). However, it is unclear whether humans are more like mice or rats in terms of their response to the carcinogen.

What you may not know is that caramel coloring can be derived from wheat, and thus contain a small amount of gluten. I recommend avoiding any natural or artificial coloring, and especially avoid caramel coloring if you are particularly sensitive to or allergic to gluten. What’s the point of coloring a food, anyway? Unless you’re hiding something.

Cellulose: (appeared to be unsafe in my opinion. I will avoid this one)

Cellulose is a complex carbohydrate found in the cell walls of plants. In the context of food, cellulose is often used as a source of dietary fiber and as a food additive to provide texture and improve the nutritional profile of certain products. While cellulose itself is generally considered safe and is a natural component of many plant-based foods, there can be concerns about its use in highly processed foods or when consumed in excessive amounts. Here are some reasons why some people may express concerns about cellulose in food:

Digestive Issues: Cellulose is a type of insoluble fiber that does not dissolve in water. While soluble fiber can be beneficial for digestion, insoluble fiber may be more challenging for some individuals to digest. Consuming large amounts of cellulose, especially in the form of isolated or processed cellulose additives, may lead to digestive issues such as gas, bloating, and discomfort.

Nutrient Absorption: In some cases, excessive intake of cellulose may interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients. Insoluble fiber can bind to minerals and other nutrients, potentially reducing their absorption in the digestive tract. However, this is more of a concern when consuming very high amounts of fiber, and a balanced diet typically mitigates these effects.

Potential for Contamination: Cellulose used as a food additive is often derived from plant sources such as wood pulp or cotton. While food-grade cellulose is generally purified and considered safe for consumption, there can be concerns about potential contaminants in the production process.

-Chat GPT

Potential risks include allergic reactions, altering gut flora, and lack of nutritional value.

Increased Inflammation

Early animal studies also showed repeated exposure in the nose caused mild to moderate inflammation by four weeks (Ugwoke 2000). A 1% solution used in the eyes after LASIK surgery in humans also appeared to provoke inflammation that required intense topical steroid treatment to resolve (Samuel 2002).

More concerning were reports that started to emerge suggesting gastrointestinal inflammation with consumption of carboxymethyl cellulose. In immune-deficient mice, carboxymethyl cellulose caused a “massive bacterial overgrowth” and inflammation in the small intestine. Due to the similarity with inflammatory bowel disease, the authors suggest that carboxymethyl cellulose may be a contributing factor to its development (Swidsinsky 2009).

Additional Negative Effects

Further research using low doses of carboxymethyl cellulose in mice found increased inflammation, blood sugar dysregulation, obesity, and colitis. The authors again suggested that the compound may be contributing significantly to negative health outcomes in humans (Chassaing 2015).

Worryingly, the low grade inflammation promoted by carboxymethyl cellulose appears to increase risks for colon cancer and cancer of the small intestine (Viennois 2017, Viennois 2021). A model of the human digestive tract also confirmed the findings that carboxymethyl cellulose changes human gut flora and induces intestinal inflammation (Chassaing 2017). The effects appear at least partially due to damage of the protective layer of intestinal mucus found throughout the digestive tract (Lock 2018).

Behavioral Effects

Studies in mice have found negative effects on behavior with the consumption of carboxymethyl cellulose as well. Similar to other research, consumption of carboxymethyl cellulose was found to increase obesity, intestinal inflammation and negatively impact gut flora. However, they also found changes in anxiety behaviors in male mice, with decreased socialization in females (Holder 2019).

According to the FDA: “In humans, virtually 100 percent of orally ingested cellulose can be recovered in the feces within four days, indicating that absorption does not occur.” This substance just passes through your body, while lining food industry pockets. Nice!

The FDA sets no limit on cellulose content in processed food, however sets a limit for meat products at 3.5%.

Citric Acid: (AVOID)

Synthetic citric acid is very concerning.

Real citric acid in actual fruit helped neutralize free radicals, but that is not what citric acid in food is.

Aspergillus niger is the main industrial workhorse for citric acid production.

Citric acid as a food additive is not natural citric acid; it is manufactured through fermentation using Aspergillus niger. Aspergillus niger is a potent allergen.

Food additive manufactured citric acid may be causing allergic inflammatory cascades.

Manufactured citric acid may be contributing to the inflammation seen in asthma, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, autistic spectrum disorder, and fibromyalgia.

The safety of manufactured citric acid has never been studied since it was granted GRAS status.

“Potential role of the common food additive manufactured citric acid in eliciting significant inflammatory reactions contributing to serious disease states: A series of four case reports”

Citric acid is one of the most common food additives found on ingredient lists. It might be tempting to dismiss citric acid as a natural substance that comes from citrus fruit, but unfortunately that’s not the case.

The citric acid that is used is manufactured citric acid (MCA). Pfizer began producing manufactured citric acid in 1919 through a microbial process involving a mutant strain of Aspergillus niger, also known as black mold. The present day process of creating manufactured citric acid involves feeding sugars derived from GMO corn to black mold, which then ferments to form manufactured citric acid.

Aspergillus niger is associated with systemic inflammatory issues, including respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurological and musculoskeletal. Due to the potential for fragments of Aspergillus niger to make their way into the finished product of manufactured citric acid, this toxic inflammatory substance is likely being ingested by consumers of products containing citric acid. Even with high-heat processing to kill it, research has shown Aspergillus niger can still elicit an inflammatory response.

Are you unknowingly ingesting toxic mold? Do you feel like you’re doing everything right and still not getting better? It’s possible something hidden in your daily routine may be sabotaging your healing.

One potential culprit is manufactured citric acid (MCA), often added to food as a preservative and flavor enhancer.

And here’s the potential problem: this ingredient is mass produced using Aspergillus niger—a type of mold. People with chronic illness and weakened immune systems may react badly to it. In fact, many patients with persistent symptoms of Lyme disease experience more severe symptoms when exposed to mold.

To date, there have been no human trials investigating the safety of MCA. However, in 2018, two medical doctors at the University of Chicago did a deep literature review and found cause for concern.

In their published paper, they present a series of four case reports of patients who had significant worsening of symptoms after ingesting MCA. By eliminating MCA, each of the patients had a resolution of symptoms.

Today, 99% of citric acid in commercial use is manufactured from fermented corn syrup and Aspergillus niger.

Corn Maltodextrin: (See Maltodextrin)

Dextrose: (See Maltodextrin)

It appears to be a starch, extracted from plants.

Dextrose is a monosaccharide, it is much sweeter than maltodextrin.

You may experience adverse reactions to foods containing this simple sugar if you are allergic to corn. Dextrose is produced from corn and is present in corn syrup, which is used to make many processed and sweetened foods.

There are plenty of foods containing dextrose that should be avoided because they supply little to no nutritional value and can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. Basically, foods that are processed and contain refined sweeteners should not be part of your diet. If you do consume these foods, it should only be once in a while.

Emulisifers: (Some gums are safer but others not so much, see each for details)

In general can disrupt the gut microbiome. Can be in many forms: gums, carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), Polysorbate 80 (PS80), Maltrodextrin, Carrageenan…

Found in breads, alternative milks, dairy desserts and yogurts, alternative milk desserts and yogurts, condiments, salad dressing, cottage cheese, cool whip, and more.

Many of them thin your intestinal mucous lining, allowing bad bacteria to pass (causes leaky gut essentially), causes gut and body inflammation due to causing leaky gut.

Ethyl Alcohol/Ethanol: (Safe but not good for you, but essentially just alcohol)

As a food additive, ethanol is used to evenly distribute food coloring and to enhance the flavor of food extracts. Because ethanol is a very pure form of alcohol, its use in foods is regulated by FDA and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Here are some things that consumers should know about the uses of ethanol in the food industry:

Ethanol is used as a solvent: Ethanol is a good solvent for a wide range of compounds and is used to extract essential oils, flavors, and fragrances from various plant materials. It is also used as a solvent in the production of vanilla extract, which is a common flavoring agent in many food products.

Ethanol is used as a preservative: Ethanol is a natural preservative that is effective at inhibiting the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. It is often used in the preservation of fruits, vegetables, and other food products to extend their shelf life.

Ethanol is used in fermentation: Ethanol is a byproduct of fermentation, which is the process by which sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide by microorganisms such as yeasts. This process is used in the production of alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and spirits.

Ethanol is used in food processing: Ethanol is used in various food processing techniques such as the decaffeination of coffee and tea, extraction of vegetable oils, and the production of food-grade glycerin.

Ethanol is used as a fuel: Ethanol is a renewable fuel source that is produced from biomass such as corn, sugarcane, and wheat. It is often blended with gasoline to produce a fuel known as E10, which contains 10% ethanol and is commonly used in automobiles.

Consumer Advice:

While ethanol is generally regarded as safe for use in the food industry, it is important to note that some individuals may be sensitive to it and experience adverse reactions. Excessive consumption of ethanol-containing products can lead to intoxication, liver damage, and other health issues. Additionally, some individuals may be sensitive to ethanol and experience adverse reactions.

Ethyl alcohol is another term for ethanol. It’s an organic compound that’s volatile, flammable, and recognised by its strong smell. Ethanol is the only type of alcohol that can be safely consumed by humans – in the form of alcohol beverages, that is. Pure ethanol is toxic and can cause comas or even death.

Fractionated Oil: (AVOID)

Same as Hydrogenated oils, therefore poison. It is heated and then cooled quickly, which causes separation. They got rid of the word hydrogenated in many products because people have realized it is toxic. Sometimes they can be processed like this but not labeled correctly (not listed as trans fat, hydrogenated, or fractionated). Oils to potentially avoid are: palm oil, palm kernel oil, soybean oil, rice bran oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, corn oil, canola oil, and in some cases coconut oil. They should be unrefined or unprocessed oils. Using these processed oils will cause inflammation, along with many other side effects.

-The Biblical Nutritionist

Fruit Pectin: (seems safe, if it’s natural pectin without additives in the pectin)

Fruit pectin has been associated with potential side effects like gas, bloating, or abdominal discomfort. It could also affect digestion in some cases.

Pectin is a soluble fiber found in most plants. It is most abundant in:

Apples, Plums, & The peel and pulp of citrus fruits. In food, it is most commonly used to thicken jams, jellies, and preserves.

The human body cannot digest pectin in its natural form. But an altered form of pectin, known as modified citrus pectin (MCP), has properties that allow it to be digested.

Pectin may have a potential role in cancer care. In a small study of men with prostate cancer for whom standard treatment had failed, MCP appeared to slow the growth of their cancer.

Larger, better designed studies are needed before any conclusions are drawn about MCP’s potential as an anticancer agent.

Pectin has also been used to try to treat heavy metal toxicity, which can result from exposure to lead, mercury, arsenic, and other elements. Some people believe that MCP can help the body excrete such poisonous substances. But little unbiased research exists to support such claims.

Some people have reported mild stomach cramps and diarrhea while taking MCP.

People who are allergic to citrus fruits should avoid MCP.

Also, MCP may interfere with certain cancer treatments and should not be taken without supervision.

Pectin can reduce the body’s ability to absorb beta-carotene, an important nutrient. And pectin can also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb certain drugs

Gellan Gum: (Undecided – possibly safe, and might be better than other gums)

(similar to: Locust Bean Gum (E410), and Guar Gum (E412))

What it is: Thickener.

Why to avoid: These ingredients are known to cause stomach issues like bloating and gas in people who have sensitive digestive systems.

Commonly found in: Almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, non-dairy milks and creamers, ice cream, cottage cheese.

It’s a food additive produced through bacterial fermentation using a sugar source, which provides a source of energy for the bacteria to consume. Gellan gum is considered to be valuable and unique in manufacturing due to its capability of creating fluid, gel solutions that have weak structures, a characteristic that’s important for structuring and adding “creaminess.”

So far, studies done on gellan gum consumption have not found toxic effects. Although it appears to be safe for most people to consume, especially considering it’s typically used in very small amounts, you still want to limit the quantity of any added emulsifiers you consume or cook with, including gellan gum. All stabilizers/thickeners pose potential concerns for interactions, including digestive issues, which some people might experience.

One reason that food additives, including emulsifiers, may be potentially dangerous is because they can alter healthy levels of intestinal bacteria in some people. This means it’s possible they will disrupt the normal mucous layer that lines the gut and contribute to chronic, low-level inflammation that promotes changes in cells in the digestive tract, including in the colon.

Gellan gum is one of food additives used as a thickener or emulsifier. Gellan gum can prevent separation and settling of the contents such as vitamins and minerals in your beverage products.

Compared to other gums and gelling agents, gellan gum is a relatively safe food additive. Gellan gum is approved by the FDA and EFSA as a safe nature based ingredient to be added into our foods.

But some researches have shown that consuming gellan gum produced minor side effects. The possible side effects include: Slow digestion, Abdominal bloating, Excessive gas/Flatulence, & Loose stools/diarrhea.

It is important to take note that these is not completely backed up by science and this harmful effects are only produced when gellan gum is taken in high doses.

Compared to other gelling agents, gellan gum is relatively safe. Aside from that, gellan gum has good storage stability, moisture retention, sheen, spread-ability, texture and flavor release without affecting the product’s taste and natural color.

Gellan gum is similar to xanthan gum in that it is an exopolysaccharide produced by bacterial fermentation. It acts as a bulking agent, emulsifier, stabilizer and thickener, and is found in baked goods, jams, sauces, ice cream and confectionary goods. It is commonly used in vegan foods and personal-care items.

Some studies have shown that consuming gellan gum lowered total cholesterol approximately 10%, and thus far no toxic effects have been found. A lack of available research means there is insufficient data to conclude the safety and efficacy of gellan gum.

Glycerine: (Seems relatively safe, but not preferred. No health benefit and potential side effects)

Glycerin helps preserve moisture, prevents sugar crystallization, and adds bulk, smoothness, softness, sweetness, and texture to a range of foods and beverages. It gives the final product its smooth, thick texture.

While glycerin is generally safe and non-toxic, a person who consumes it orally may have some side effects. They can include: mild headache. nausea.

Glycerin is one of the most common ingredients in the world. Industry loves this sticky, thick liquid because it is colorless, odorless and above all …. SWEET.

Glycerin is a sugar alcohol. You are probably already familiar with sugar alcohols like xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and erythritol (Swerve).

Well, glycerin goes by another name which fits right in semantically speaking – glycerol.

Like all sugar alcohols, glycerol is sweet without containing sugar. This is why it was named “glyc,” which is the Greek root for sweet.

Glycerin is an excellent emulsifier. This means that it helps join fats and other liquids together so they don’t separate.

Plant-based glycerin is mostly a by-product of soap manufacturing. This process involves heating vegetable oil with a strong alkali such as lye (sodium hydroxide).

Synthetic glycerin is very commonly used in industry nowadays. It is a complex process that may begin with substances such as allyl chloride, acrolein, propylene oxide, polyalcohols, fats, or epichlorohydrin. Some of these chemicals are quite dangerous.

Glycerine is a safe additive in many of the food and beverage products we consume. While glycerine forms naturally via the alcoholic fermentation of sugars, it mostly comes from the production of the hydrolysis of fats and oils and the fermentation of yeast, oils and starches. When serving as a food ingredient, glycerine can help to retain moisture content, reduce or prevent sugar crystallization and enhance bulk, texture, sweetness, smoothness and softness.

The following nations and organizations have deemed glycerine safe for human consumption:

European Union




World Health Organization

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

While glycerine in food is safe, ingesting large amounts at once can cause side effects. Individuals may experience diarrhea, bloating, excessive thirst, nausea or hyperglycemia. However, most foods and beverages consumed by humans don’t contain sufficient glycerine levels to cause these effects. Since glycerine is not detrimental to human health, the FDA or other health organizations have not established an acceptable daily intake level for the substance.

Guar gum: (Might be safe in moderation – limit, not preferred though – revisit)

High in fiber, food emulsifying qualities, food thickening qualities (thickening agent), absorbs in water and turns into gel in most temperature ranges, no flavor, gives food an even consistency, helps bind ingredients and bulk them up. It can be flammable on it’s own. May cause digestive issues. Can absorb liquid in the digestive tract. In large doses can cause bowel obstruction. It can cause pulmonary embolism (blood clot) in larger amounts also. Those who worked in industries with high exposure to guar gum has sensitivity to it.

FDA has said 0.35% is the max amount allowed in baked goods, 2% in vegetable juices.

Has helped some with blood sugar regulation. Can lower cholesterol. Increases satiety.

Adversely affects microbiome in Study, which also said it increases susceptibility to colonic inflammation.

Guar gum is a food additive derived from guar beans, specifically from the endosperm of the seeds of the guar plant (Cyamopsis tetragonoloba). Guar is a leguminous plant native to India and Pakistan, and it’s also cultivated in other regions.

The guar gum extraction process involves dehusking the guar seeds and then grinding the endosperm into a fine powder. This powder is then used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in various food and industrial applications.

Guar gum is valued for its ability to hydrate quickly in cold water and form a viscous gel, making it useful in a variety of food products. It is commonly used in the food industry as a thickener, stabilizer, and emulsifier in products such as soups, sauces, dressings, ice cream, and baked goods. Additionally, guar gum is used in various non-food industries, including pharmaceuticals, textiles, and paper manufacturing, due to its versatile thickening and binding properties.

Guar gum is a common food additive that comes from guar beans. It is often used as a thickening agent in various food products, including soups, sauces, and salad dressings. While guar gum is generally considered safe for consumption in moderate amounts, some people may experience adverse effects. Here are a few reasons why some individuals might consider guar gum to be problematic:

Digestive Issues: Guar gum is a type of soluble fiber that can absorb water and form a gel-like substance. For some people, consuming large amounts of guar gum may lead to digestive issues such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive sensitivities may be more prone to these effects.

Allergic Reactions: Although rare, some individuals may be allergic to guar gum. Allergic reactions can include symptoms such as itching, hives, and in severe cases, anaphylaxis. If someone suspects an allergy to guar gum, they should seek medical attention immediately.

Obstruction Risk: In rare cases, excessive consumption of guar gum, particularly in its powder form, may pose a risk of intestinal obstruction, especially in individuals with a history of gastrointestinal problems. This is more of a concern with the pure, concentrated form of guar gum rather than the smaller amounts typically found in food products.

Blood Sugar Levels: Some studies suggest that guar gum may affect blood sugar levels, which could be a concern for individuals with diabetes. However, more research is needed to fully understand the impact, and the evidence is not conclusive.


Unfortunately, these studies do report gastrointestinal side effects such as increased gas. In one study where subjects were given 21g of guar gum per day for 3 months, two participants dropped out due to excessive gas and abdominal discomfort. (11)

Although 21g per day is far more guar gum than anyone would reasonably encounter in their diet, even small amounts could cause unpleasant symptoms in those with sensitive digestive systems, and I’ve had patients with gut issues improve after removing guar gum from their diet. With that in mind, I think it makes sense to avoid guar gum if you have gut issues, like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) or IBS, unless you’ve removed it and added it back in without noticing any harmful effects.

Guar gum, a commonly used food additive, is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by regulatory authorities when consumed in moderate amounts. However, like many substances, it can cause side effects in some individuals, particularly when consumed in excessive quantities. Here are potential side effects associated with guar gum:

Gastrointestinal Issues: Guar gum is a soluble fiber that can absorb water and form a gel-like substance. For some people, this may lead to digestive issues such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea, especially if consumed in large amounts. Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other gastrointestinal sensitivities may be more susceptible to these effects.

Allergic Reactions: While rare, some individuals may be allergic to guar gum. Allergic reactions can range from mild symptoms like itching and hives to more severe reactions, including anaphylaxis. If someone suspects an allergy to guar gum, they should seek medical attention immediately.

Obstruction Risk: Excessive consumption of guar gum, particularly in its pure, concentrated form, may pose a risk of intestinal obstruction, especially in individuals with a history of gastrointestinal problems. This is more of a concern with large amounts of guar gum rather than the smaller quantities typically found in food products.

Blood Sugar Levels: Some studies suggest that guar gum may affect blood sugar levels, potentially posing a concern for individuals with diabetes. However, more research is needed to fully understand the impact, and the evidence is not conclusive.


Others say benefits to Guar Gum for regulating blood sugar more than some diabetes drugs. It hinted that it was positive for the body.

What the studies say: This stuff expands, which is great if you want to feel full but super dangerous if eaten in large quantities. In the 1990s, diet pills that used Guar Gum were banned by the FDA because they could swell up to 10 to 20 times the original size when ingested, causing dangerous blockages in the body. After a series of incidents where people suffered from esophageal and intestinal obstruction after taking the diet pills that contained Guar Gum, an analysis of FDA reports found that Guar Gum poses a deadly risk of swelling and obstructing the esophagus and small intestine. The FDA has now banned the use of Guar Gum in diet pills and strictly regulating the amount that can appear in food products.

However since Guar Gum is a soluble fiber, studies on high-fiber diets given to those with diabetes have shown that soluble fiber as part of a high-fiber diet can help reduce blood sugar levels and LDL (so-called bad cholesterol) by up to 20 percent over three months.

Inulin: (Seems safe but not preferred)

Inulin is a type of soluble fiber found in certain plants, primarily in the roots or rhizomes. It belongs to a class of carbohydrates known as fructans, which are composed of chains of fructose molecules. Inulin is not digested in the upper gastrointestinal tract, so it reaches the colon intact, where it serves as a prebiotic.

Prebiotics are substances that promote the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the gut, such as Bifidobacteria. These bacteria contribute to the overall health of the digestive system. Inulin is often used in the food industry as a functional ingredient due to its various properties, including its ability to improve the texture and mouthfeel of food products.

While inulin has various potential health benefits, some people express concerns about its use as a food additive for a few reasons:

Gastrointestinal Distress: Inulin is a type of fermentable fiber, and some individuals may be sensitive to it. Consuming large amounts of inulin can lead to increased gas production, bloating, and digestive discomfort. Individuals with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or other digestive disorders may be particularly susceptible to these effects.

Allergic Reactions: While true allergies to inulin are rare, some people may be allergic to plants that naturally contain inulin, such as chicory. In such cases, using inulin extracted from these sources as an additive could potentially trigger an allergic reaction.

Caloric Content: Inulin is a carbohydrate, but it’s often classified as a dietary fiber because it’s not fully digested in the small intestine. However, it does provide some calories when broken down in the colon. The caloric content of inulin is lower than that of many other carbohydrates, but individuals who are closely monitoring their calorie intake may consider this.

Effect on Blood Sugar Levels: While inulin generally has a minimal impact on blood sugar levels, some concerns have been raised about its potential to cause a slight increase in blood glucose. This is more relevant for individuals with diabetes or those closely monitoring their blood sugar levels.

Overconsumption in Processed Foods: Inulin is often used as a food additive to enhance the fiber content of processed foods. Some critics argue that relying on added fibers, such as inulin, in processed foods may create a false sense of healthiness, and it’s generally preferable to obtain fiber from whole, minimally processed foods.

Study (called Inulin Supplementation Disturbs Hepatic Cholesterol and Bile Acid Metabolism Independent from Housing Temperature) found that short-term inulin feeding lowered plasma cholesterol levels and provoked cholestasis and mild liver damage in WT mice. Fibers cannot be broken down by human digestive enzymes, but are fermented by the gut bacteria. Inulin is a naturally occurring soluble fiber that is emerging as a food supplement and additive in highly processed foods to improve nutritional value. In rodents, inulin has been shown to lower plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels [6], reduce postprandial hypertriglyceridemia [7], suppress adiposity [8], and protect against metabolic syndrome [9]. In addition, data from human studies suggest that dietary inulin supplementation might be able to reduce body weight [10,11]. To date, it is under debate whether inulin mediates these effects directly via its impact on the gut bacteria and subsequent interleukin-22 production [9] or indirectly via production of SCFAs and action on their corresponding receptors, GPR41 and/or GPR43 [12]. Of note, numerous studies have highlighted the role of SCFAs for regulation of appetite [13,14], development of obesity [15,16] and fatty liver [17], as well as insulin sensitivity and energy expenditure [18].

More info:

Is inulin good or bad for you?

Firstly, the good news – inulin is naturally low in calories, is high in fibre and is vegetarian and vegan friendly.

Inulin offers a host of health benefits, from helping improve support digestive health, alleviating constipation and helping weight management.

But is there such a thing as inulin intolerance? Most people will be able to take inulin in small doses without any adverse reaction.

However, people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and those intolerant to FODMAPs should be wary of side effects.

Inulin intake should be increased progressively, to help monitor and manage any potential side effect.

Side effects of inulin

Bloating and/or increased wind (flatulence)

Abdominal discomfort and/or cramping



Inulin has a low calorific value

Including it in your diet can support various aspects of wellness, including helping to increase stool frequency

Inulin powders are vegan and vegetarian-friendly and also suitable for those following a gluten-free diet

Bloating, cramping and diarrhoea are unwanted side effects that are more likely if you’re intolerant to FODMAPs


Lactic Acid: (Seems mostly safe but some side effects noted)

Lactic acid is a type of organic acid produced by bacteria when foods undergo fermentation.

It’s also sometimes used as a food preservative to prevent spoilage and enhance the flavor of processed foods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its use in most products, apart from infant foods and formula.

Lactic acid is found in a variety of foods. It’s produced naturally as a result of fermentation.

Many types of bacteria that produce lactic acid, including Lactobacillus, are considered probiotics. These beneficial bacteria support a healthy gut microbiome and are associated with a wide range of other health benefits.

In 1780, Carl Wilhelm Scheele first isolated sour milk acid and identified lactic acid. Food producers use lactic acid to naturally add flavor and preservatives while improving sales by maintaining a clean-label brand perception. Scientists have also noted the presence of lactic acid in muscles after exercise, and the cosmetic industry uses it in products as an antioxidant.

What the Studies Say: Lactic acid sounds so innocent since it’s made by our very own bodies when we work out hard. However, in a study by doctors at The University of Augusta, Georgia in 2018, two-thirds of patients who took lactic acid experienced brain fog, confusion, and short term memory loss as well as bloating and fullness.

Who should stay away: Anyone trying to focus, keep their brain sharp or with a sensitive stomach. But for the most part lactic acid has not been determined to be harmful to you.

Locust Bean Gum (Carob Bean Gum): (Undecided – Seems safe, but prefer to avoid. There just have not been enough studies on it, therefore limited data, too many unknowns)

Made from the seeds of the carob tree, locust bean gum has a sweet flavor and is commonly used to sweeten foods and as a substitute for chocolate. It is durable and soluble in hot water, which makes it useful in powdered hot chocolate mixes. Locust bean gum is high in fiber and has been associated with improved blood sugar levels, lowered total cholesterol, and improved HDL-to-LDL ratio.

Some increase in abdominal gas has been reported. In a two-year animal study, no carcinogenic effects were reported. There is a potential for the fiber in locust bean gum to interfere with the absorption of zinc, iron and calcium, which can lead to numerous health conditions if consumed daily. Currently, there is not enough information regarding locust bean gum’s safety for pregnant or breast-feeding women.

No adverse effects were reported in 90-day toxicity and carcinogenicity studies in rodents at the highest doses tested and there was no concern with respect to the genotoxicity and to reproductive and developmental toxicity of locust bean gum.

“Re-evaluation of locust bean gum (E 410) as a food additive”

Locust bean gum is considered Generally Recognized as Safe or GRAS in the United States.

Locust bean gum is permitted as a food additive in the European Union in accordance with Annex II and Annex III to Regulation (EC) 1333/2008 on food additives. It is also used in other countries such as Australia and Japan.

Maltodextrin: (In moderation – not good for blood sugar but not toxic)

This 2016 study conducted by doctors in the Netherlands found that substituting unprocessed starches with Maltodextrin may increase the product’s glycemic load, meaning elevates the sugar content and drives up how much blood glucose your body needs to metabolize in one sitting. This can lead to insulin response, fat storage, or weight gain. A study conducted by doctors at the University of South Carolina found evidence that foods that increase the glycemic load also increase inflammation, which is a major contributor to chronic diseases.

“Nutrition, Health, and Regulatory Aspects of Digestible Maltodextrins”

Methylcellulose: (AVOID) Same thing, other name essentially

(See Cellulose)

Monocalcium Phosphate/MCP: (Best to avoid. Appears to be cumulative, but Kidneys detox this. Anyone with Kidney disease however should avoid them entirely)

Phosphates are often added to meat products, processed cheese (very high), snack foods, fast foods, and more. advises people to avoid anything that has Phosphate in the ingredient list. Companies are not required to list phosphorus-containing additives on their labels at this time.

It is commonly used in the food industry as a leavening agent in baking powders. It helps dough rise by releasing carbon dioxide gas when mixed with an acid and moisture, such as in the presence of acidic ingredients like cream of tartar. Monocalcium phosphate is not the same as baking powder.

Monocalcium phosphate is one of the acids that can be used in baking powder. It reacts with the alkaline component (baking soda) to release carbon dioxide gas, which causes the dough or batter to rise.

Concerns about the safety of monocalcium phosphate and similar phosphate additives in food may arise from several factors:

Phosphate Intake:

Excessive intake of phosphates, including those from food additives like monocalcium phosphate, has been associated with health concerns. High levels of dietary phosphates may affect the balance of minerals in the body, potentially leading to issues with bone health, cardiovascular health, and kidney function.

Kidney Health:

Individuals with kidney problems may be advised to limit their phosphate intake, as the kidneys play a crucial role in regulating phosphorus levels in the body. Excessive phosphorus intake can be particularly problematic for those with kidney disease.

Metabolic Disorders:

Some individuals may have metabolic disorders or sensitivities that make them more susceptible to the effects of certain food additives, including phosphates.

Digestive Sensitivities:

Some people may experience digestive sensitivities or intolerance to certain food additives. While monocalcium phosphate is generally recognized as safe by regulatory agencies when used in accordance with established guidelines, individual reactions can vary.

-Chat GPT

Our kidneys perform many important functions, including the removal of any extra phosphorus from the blood. But when kidneys are not functioning well, phosphorus levels can rise, which can lead to serious complications like renal bone disease and calcium deposits in the heart. So how can you avoid too much phosphorus in your diet? The answer is: by limiting foods that are high in phosphorus and by avoiding foods that contain phosphate additives.

Read the labels – On food labels, look for words that include “phosphate” or “phosphoric” such as:

sodium phosphate

sodium aluminum phosphate

sodium tripolyphosphate

sodium acid pyrophosphate

monocalcium phosphate

phosphoric acid


Inorganic phosphorus, or phosphate additives, is used by the food industry to extend the shelf life of food, to make foods creamier and easier to melt, and to keep powders from clumping.


High phosphorus levels in your blood can lead to:

  • Itching, red eyes
  • Calcium-phosphorus deposits in the heart, skin, lungs, blood vessels and other organs
  • Bone disease
  • Increased risk of death

SOURCE: Organic and Inorganic Dietary Phosphorus and Its Management in Chronic Kidney Disease by Nazanin Noori

Story: Lisa Baxter, a 52-year-old social worker from Queens, New York, diligently scrutinizes food labels due to her kidney disease, which she has battled for two decades. Armed with a list of dietary do’s and don’ts, she particularly watches out for ingredients containing “phosphate.” Phosphates induce a metallic taste and intense itching for Baxter, resembling a persistent flea sensation. Undergoing thrice-weekly dialysis, she understands the perilous impact excessive phosphates can have on her health. Kidney disease impedes the breakdown of these minerals, commonly found in processed foods for flavor enhancement. Overconsumption poses risks like bone loss and potentially fatal conditions such as heart disease, intensifying Baxter’s vigilance in her food choices.



This can be under many names and hidden, listed as: yeast extract, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, caseinate, textured protein, Hydrolyzed pea protein, and more.

The accumulative effect of it’s use can cause migraines, obesity, seizures, ALS, Parkinsons disease, infections, Alzheimer’s disease, and more. They are starting to be attributed to the use of MSG in food.

MSG is synthetic and not a natural form of glutamate. It is an accelerated flavor enhancer that encourages us to eat more.

The Biblical Nutritionist

MSG, on the other hand, is a highly concentrated, synthetic, and processed form of glutamic acid. It is currently made by bacterial fermentation, and nothing else.

The issues with the safety and side effects of MSG are well known including obesity and headaches among others.

the widespread presence of MSG in processed foods allows us to unnaturally INCREASE the amount of glutamate (both synthetic and natural) we can consume at one time.

In other words, processed foods containing MSG permit us to get addicted and/or “overdose” for lack of a better word.

There are a few risks with this increase. One, as Stephan Guyenet discusses in his book, The Hungry Brain, is that such high reward foods can short circuit our brain’s appetite and body weight regulatory systems.

Dr. Russell Blaylock MD talks about this in his book Excitotoxins. MSG kills brain cells, most notably in the hypothalamus located in the brain stem. The hypothalamus is a significant player in the overall control of metabolism and the endocrine system.

The tricky part is that a reaction to natural glutamate and/or synthetic MSG can sometimes be delayed by up to 24-72 hours. This can make it difficult to assess sensitivity accurately.

Natural Flavors: (Seems safe in certain cases, but not preferred)

Natural Flavors can vary due to what companies decide to use. Some companies use very synthetic flavoring while others use very simple flavors. It is more about trust in the brand, or reaching out to them to ask what they mean by that. If everything else looks good, the food has a higher likelihood of being safe.

Nitrates and Nitrites: (Avoid most)

These food additives are used mainly as preservatives in processed meats—like bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats.

What’s the concern? When these foods are cooked at high heat, say, when you fry bacon or grill a hot dog, or when they mix with stomach acid during digestion, the added nitrites can generate nitrosamines. Nitrosamines may be carcinogenic, and some research shows that eating as little as half an ounce of deli meat or half a hot dog daily increases the risk of premature death. Even if the package says no nitrates or nitrites added, processed meats probably still contain them. That’s because per Department of Agriculture regulations, that claim is permitted if the meat is cured with natural sources of nitrates/nitrites, such as celery, instead of synthetic ones, such as sodium nitrate or nitrite. “No matter the source, though, the compounds are chemically identical and have the same health effects,” Vallaeys says.

Palm Fruit Oil: (Avoid)

What the studies say: Palm Oil is bad for your heart, and can drive up cholesterol, but because it’s cheap and stays solid at room temperature but melts when heated (like margarine), it’s in 50 percent of all products at the store. A study conducted out of the University of Columbia found that contrary to the popular notion that Palm Oil can reduce cholesterol, it has minimal health benefits and can actually raise cholesterol even in small amounts, because of its high concentration of saturated fat.

Since Palm Oil is used so frequently in cooking, another study from Malaysia looked at what happens when you reheat foods that have been cooked with palm oil and found that the more often the oil gets heated the worse it is for you, becoming denser it became, and the likelier to lead to plaque deposits that can clog arteries and lead to heart disease. found that when the oil is reheated, it can actually increase plaque deposits in arteries.

Sometimes it’s listed as “modified,” “partially hydrogenated” or “fractionated” palm oil, which would indicate trans fats; even if the Nutrition Facts panel indicates zero trans fats, products containing less than 0.5 gram of trans fats can be labeled as trans-fat-free.) Sometimes palm oil is one of the oils listed under the term “vegetable oil.”

While unmodified palm kernel oil is trans-fat-free, about 80 percent of its fat is saturated, with about 22 grams saturated fat in each 2-tablespoon serving (for comparison there are 14 grams of saturated fat in two tablespoons of butter). For a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, that’s the maximum amount of saturated fat you should be eating.

In addition, research has shown that palmitic acid caused mice to become resistant to the appetite-suppressing hormones leptin and insulin, which in theory could make them eat more.

The process of harvesting palm oil is responsible for significant destruction of rain forests in Indonesia and Malaysia-and threatens the orangutans and Sumatran tigers that live there.

Palm oil of any kind, whether it be from the fruit or kernel is not beneficial to the Earth or human health.

Palmitic acid increased the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol more than other saturated fatty acids, including lauric acid and myristic acid, which are abundant in palm kernel oil. Palm oil increases the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol more than the average U.S. or British dietary fat.

In a study published in a 1999 issue of “Plant Foods for Human Nutrition,” three Nigerian biochemistry researchers extol some of the nutrients found in fresh palm oil, but point out that the oil in an oxidized state can threaten physiological and biochemical functions of the body.

Coconut oil also contains much higher amounts of myristic, lauric, and capric acid which are relatively absent in palm oil. Although coconut oil also contains palmitic acid, the ratio is much lower (about 9 times lower) and coconut oil’s saturated fat profile is much more balanced than palm oil. The health promoting effects of coconut oil exceed palm oil’s by a very large margin.

Polysorbate 80: (AVOID)

Carcinogenic. Found often in ice cream.

The Biblical Nutritionist

Polysorbate 80 is a surfactant that is commonly used as an emulsifier in food and pharmaceuticals. It has been linked to potential health risks such as increased risk of cancer, endocrine disruption, and organ toxicity. It has also been linked to an increased risk of infertility and reproductive issues.

Polysorbate 80 may compromise proper gastrointestinal function. Research studies have repeatedly shown that it can increase intestinal membrane permeability (how much the intestinal membrane allows to pass through into the bloodstream) through a variety of means including causing the release of enzymes that damage the structure of the cells that make up the intestinal membrane.

Because polysorbate 80 increases intestinal permeability, it has been shown to also increase both the absorption and action of some pharmaceutical drugs. Additionally, polysorbate 80 may affect the body\’s ability to absorb nutrients, notably of ionic minerals such as potassium and calcium.

A 2015 study of polysorbate 80 and another emulsifier (car­boxymethylcellulose) in mice found that both affected gut bacteria and triggered inflammation and other changes in the gut, as well as obesity and metabolic syndrome. In mice that were predisposed to colitis, the emulsifiers pro­moted the disease.

Potassium Benzoate/Sodium Benzoate: (AVOID)

Found in things like low fat dressings, syrups, jams, pickles

Damages DNA, according to The Biblical Nutritionist.

Potassium benzoate prevents or inhibits the fermentation, acidification, or other deterioration of foods. It is particularly known as a fungistatic, which prevents fungi from proliferating or growing and causing food spoilage.

According to older studies, the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children may be greatly affected by substances such as potassium benzoate. Benzoate preservatives were also discovered to have a detrimental effect on the behavior of 3-year-old children. Benzene can also cause allergic reactions in young infants and has been linked to changes in cognitive function.

Possible side effects range from severe allergic reactions to hyperactivity to an increased risk of cancer.


Allergic Reactions: One of the most significant concerns associated with potassium benzoate is its link to allergic reactions. Research indicates that it can exacerbate allergies, particularly in children. This can result in symptoms such as hives, itching, and difficulty breathing.

Hyperactivity in Children: Potassium benzoate has been linked to increased hyperactivity in some children. Studies suggest that it may have a role in behavioral and attention deficit issues.

Carcinogenic Concerns: There have been concerns that when potassium benzoate is exposed to heat and light, it can form benzene, a compound known to be carcinogenic. Although the levels formed are generally low, this is still a significant cause for concern.

Potassium Sorbate: (AVOID)

It has carcinogenic effects. Found often in ice cream and baked goods.

-The Biblical Nutritionist

In 2012, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conducted a comprehensive review of potassium sorbate and its safety for consumption. The review concluded that there were concerns regarding the genotoxicity and carcinogenicity of potassium sorbate.

Potassium sorbate is banned in Europe due to concerns about its genotoxicity and carcinogenicity.

Various research results showed that the increased PS intake (>25 mg/kg) may lead to cytotoxic and genotoxic effects via producing mutagenic compounds and inducing chromosome aberrations, sister chromatid exchange, DNA breakage. The aforementioned factors can develop many chronic diseases especially diabetes mellitus, cancers and etc.

“Pharmacokinetic and Toxicological Aspects of Potassium Sorbate Food Additive and Its Constituents”

Propyl Gallate: (AVOID)

Propyl gallate is a food additive that prevents fats and oils from becoming rancid. It’s also used as a dietary supplement.

Animal toxicity studies indicate that Propyl Gallate was slightly toxic when ingested.

“Final report on the amended safety assessment of Propyl Gallate”

Some studies have suggested that propyl gallate may be linked to an increased risk of cancer. One study found that propyl gallate caused more cancers in rats than either a zero dose or a high dose.

Propyl gallate has been linked to a group of hormone-like compounds known as xenoestrogens. Xenoestrogens can have the potential to adversely affect reproductive health.

Some scientists believe that propyl gallate is an “endocrine disruptor” which means it can interfere with humans’ hormones.

Exposure to propyl gallate in early pregnancy is predicted to cause abnormal implantation and placental development.

Propyl gallate is found in vegetable oils, meat products, and chewing gum. It’s gluten free and should be safe for patients with celiac and other gluten-related disorders.

Google Generative AI

Propylene Glycol: (AVOID)

According to the Agency for Toxic Substance & Disease Registry (ATSDR), propylene glycol is a synthetic chemical used to absorb liquid in substances that may leak and cause contamination.

Propylene glycol is widely used as an antifreeze in the cosmetic industry.

Propylene glycol has been linked to: cancer, reproductive issues, developmental delays, allergies, immune-toxicity, neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity, and serious disruption to your endocrine system.

In as low as a 2% concentration, this chemical can seriously irritate the skin and provoke sensitization in human beings.

Saccharin: (AVOID)

In the 1970s, saccharin and other sulfa-based sweeteners were believed to possibly cause bladder cancer, and it was required to carry the following warning label: “Use of this product may be hazardous to your health. This product contains saccharin, which has been determined to cause cancer in laboratory animals.”

The FDA removed this warning, but many studies continue to link saccharin to serious health conditions. Sadly, it’s the primary sweetener for children’s medications, including chewable aspirin, cough syrup, and other over-the-counter and prescription medications. It’s believed that saccharin contributes to photosensitivity, nausea, digestive upset, tachycardia and some types of cancer.

Sodium Bisulfite: (AVOID)

Chemists make sodium bisulfite by combining sulfuric acid and table salt. Manufacturers use this substance as a food preservative, so you can find it listed on many food labels.

Unfortunately, sodium bisulfite and a related compound — sodium metabisulfite — can cause serious side effects.

The authors of a paper that appeared in the August 2015 issue of the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis found that sodium bisulfite lowers the thiamine content of rice.

After a series of allergic reactions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned sulfites like sodium bisulfite from fresh foods. Yet many farmers continue to use these food additives. For example, the writers of a report featured in the February 2012 issue of the journal Meat Science found illegal levels of sulfites in about 5 percent of meat samples.

Sulfites can cause side effects such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, hives, low blood pressure and even life-threatening anaphylaxis, according to a paper published in the winter 2012 issue of Gastroenterology and Hepatology from Bed to Bench. From 3 to 10 percent of people with asthma have a sulfite sensitivity. Such people are even more vulnerable to the many side effects of sulfites.

The authors of an article in the March 2014 issue of the Yonsei Medical Journal studied 26 sulfite-sensitive subjects and put their reactions into two categories: asthma or rash. They noted that the asthma reaction can occur faster and to a smaller amount of sulfite. It was also more likely to cause hospitalization.

The researchers also explored the mechanisms underlying sulfite sensitivity. They suggested that having a genetic predisposition — sulfite oxidase deficiency — could play an important role.

Sodium metabisulfite has proven even more problematic. When manufacturers put metabisulfite in food, they might expose you to great risk. It damages the reproductive organs, at least in animal subjects, according to an article in the International Journal of Reproductive Biomedicine in December 2015. These researchers showed that sodium metabisulfite decreased testosterone production and sperm count of rats.

It also may damage the central nervous system. A study published in the March 2013 issue of Experimental Neurobiology found that sodium metabisulfite caused memory loss in rats. Interestingly, these researchers also showed that the active substance in turmeric — curcumin — blocked the harmful effects of sodium metabisulfite.

Like some other substances, sodium metabisulfite causes a skin reaction in vulnerable people. The writers of a paper in the November 2012 issue of Contact Dermatitis evaluated several thousand people and found that almost 5 percent of them had a negative skin reaction to sodium metabisulfite.

Sodium bicarbonate/Baking Soda: (Safe)

Generally safe, but can alter PH in body at doses not found in food.

People who already have high levels of sodium in the blood should avoid sodium bicarbonate. High blood pressure: Sodium bicarbonate might increase blood pressure. People who already have high blood pressure should avoid sodium bicarbonate.

-Source: WedMD

Sodium Chloride: (Safe)

Sodium chloride (NaCl), commonly known as salt, is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth and an essential nutrient for many animals and plants. Sodium chloride is naturally found in seawater and in underground rock formations.

The sodium chloride content in table salt is approximately 97 – 99%.

Unlike sea salt, it does not contain trace minerals like magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Therefore it might not be as balanced.

Sodium Phosphate: (Limit or consider avoiding)

Higher phophates in the blood have been linked to higher cardiovascular diseases. Sodium Phosphate is man-made and involves differing amounts of sodium and phosphate.

Sodium phosphate is considered safe by the FDA but should be avoided by certain people, including those with kidney disease.

Although sodium phosphates are safe in most cases, they do not come with many benefits and may cause unwanted effects in large amounts. You may want to avoid sodium phosphates entirely if you have kidney disease or high blood pressure.

What’s the concern? High phosphorus intake is hazardous for people with kidney disease or those at risk for it. “If kidney function is impaired, getting too much phosphorus puts extra strain on the kidneys to try to excrete it,” Hunnes says. But even those with healthy kidneys should be cautious about eating too many foods with phosphate additives. Too much phosphorus can bind to calcium, pulling it from bones and leaving them brittle. And researchers have found a link between high phosphate levels and increased cardiovascular risk. A 2013 study in the U.K. of more than 700,000 people found that those with normal kidney function but high phosphorus levels had a 36 percent increased risk of a cardiovascular event (such as a stroke or heart attack) over those with normal phosphorus levels.


Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that has about half the calories of sugar but also about half the sweetness. It’s used as a sweetener in sugar-free versions of foods like candy, cookies, and gum, as well as an emulsifier and anti-caking agent in some products. But it also occurs naturally in some dried fruits—particularly prunes.

What’s the concern? “Sorbitol brings water into the colon and acts as a laxative,” says Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., R.D., M.P.H., senior clinical dietitian at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. “That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but at high doses it can have unwanted side effects, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.”

The other name of sorbitol is ‘glucitol’. It is actually a sugar alcohol, which is slowly metabolized by the human body.

Sorbitol laxative effect is quite well known. It is not well absorbed in the small intestine though.

One of the sorbitol effects is diarrhea.

Abdominal pain is another common sorbitol effect.

Sorbitol toxicity can also give rise to abdominal bloating.

Sorbitol solution can cause increased or decreased urination. It can also cause dry mouth.

Along with diarrhea, sorbitol also causes vomiting. Vomiting is caused, in people who are very sensitive to this product though.

One of the very serious side effect of sorbitol is black, tarry stools.

In very rare cases, sorbitol can also cause allergies, such as a skin rash, itching and swelling.

Sorbitol can cause dizziness, if used for an extended period of time.

Some patients have also recorded trouble in breathing after use of sorbitol.

Soy Lecithin: (avoid or limit as much as possible)

This emulsifying additive is “produced by degumming crude soy oil extracted from soy flakes with hexane” (2). Hexane is the neurotoxin (3) that comes from gasoline production. It’s possible that some hexane remains in the finished product (4) and almost all toxicology research on hexane focuses on the industrial use and inhalation of hexane, so no one knows exactly how dangerous eating it is – but it surely isn’t healthy.

Here are a few points to consider:

Allergies and Sensitivities: Some individuals may have soy allergies or sensitivities, and for them, consuming soy lecithin can lead to adverse reactions. However, this is specific to individuals with soy-related allergies or sensitivities, and it doesn’t imply that soy lecithin is toxic for the general population.

Processing Methods: Concerns have been raised about the processing methods used to extract soy lecithin and the potential presence of residual solvents. However, food-grade soy lecithin is typically purified, and regulatory standards are in place to ensure its safety.

GMO Concerns: Since soybeans are a common source of soy lecithin, there have been concerns about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in soy. However, not all soy lecithin is derived from genetically modified soy, and non-GMO and organic varieties are available.

-Chat GPT

What is it? Using a chemical solvent, manufacturers take soybean oil from raw soybeans. This soy oil is then mixed with water until the lecithin portion of the oil separates.

This lecithin portion is dried, and sometimes even undergoes a final processing step of being bleached with hydrogen peroxide.

1. May Cause Diseases and Nutrient Deficiencies

One of the reasons soy lecithin is best avoided is because almost all soy in our modern day comes from GMO (genetically modified organism) crops.

This means any soy or product derived from soy, such as soy lecithin, are GMOs and have all of the accompanying health dangers, including an increased chance of having cancer.

The entire process of creating GMOs may produce carcinogens, allergens, and toxins. Aside from cancer, these chemicals may induce birth defects, sterility, and other possible nutrient deficiencies.

GMOs are also made to tolerate herbicides, which means you could be ingesting residues of toxic chemicals from herbicides.

2. May Increase Cancer Risk

There is a component of soy known as phytoestrogen that mimics the effect of the naturally occurring estrogen hormone. These phytoestrogens act to alter or decrease naturally occurring estrogen in the body.

So when these phytoestrogens from soy are ingested frequently, the risk of cancer, particularly breast cancer, is greatly increased. In men, these phytoestrogens can cause testosterone imbalance, infertility, low sperm count, and an increased risk of cancer.

A 2014 study shows frequent ingestion of phytoestrogen in low doses promotes breast cancer cell development during test tube experiments and induces tumors in living organisms.

3. May Lead to Birth Defects

Additionally, both soy and soy lecithin have genistein, which might have a detrimental effect on the reproductive system and can lead to infertility. Some studies show that ingesting these compounds can lead to birth defects.

A similar component found in soy and soy products is called goitrogens, an anti-thyroid compound that can disrupt the endocrine system and can lead to thyroid problems.

Since hormones contribute to the proper function of organs within the body, disrupting the endocrine system can result in hormone-related diseases and other health problems.

4. May Cause Allergic Reactions

Soy lecithin is also usually contaminated with a number of pesticides and insecticides and can cause allergies in sensitive individuals.

People who have a soy allergy may experience certain soy lecithin side effects. In fact, it is one of the most common allergies in humans.

Though not fatal, a soy allergic reaction makes people uncomfortable because of the hives and itching. In rare cases, though, people may experience life-threatening reactions to soy.

Some of the most common side effects seen with taking soy lecithin include: gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, weight gain, loss of appetite, rashes, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, low blood pressure, blurred vision.

5. May Cause Toxic Buildup

If you want to avoid GMO-based soy lecithin, you can opt for food products using the organic version of the ingredient. But even then, you may still be exposed to certain toxic chemicals.

That’s because the extraction process for soy lecithin uses hexane. This chemical solvent is also used in varnishes and glue.

Though it should be removed through another process, there might still be chemical residue left. A buildup of these toxins may lead to kidney and liver disease in the long run.

Sucralose: (AVOID)

Would you like to see where sucralose was born? Welcome to King’s College, London, where a group of scientists were busy trying to enhance the pesticide effect of chlorine by “bleaching” sugar molecules.

Their theory was that the insects would be attracted by the sucralose’s artificial sweetness, which is 600 times sweeter than sugar, and then be eradicated.

Tartaric Acid: (appears safe, no negative studies)

Cream of tartar is a white powdery ingredient that has acidic properties. It is a byproduct of wine making. It is often confused with tartaric acid, however, they are not the same thing. Cream of tartar is tartaric acid mixed with potassium hydroxide and therefore less acidic than straight tartaric acid.

Tartaric acid, TA, is an antioxidant has not been explored up to its full potential. TA acts as an antioxidant agent and also as a synergist to other antioxidants and in metal chelation. Its consumption prevents kidney stone formation and it is an anticancer agent too. Having such pharmacological activities doesn’t mean that TA can be consumed unsupervised. Its daily limit is 30 mg/kg body weight above, which it causes toxic effects resulting in acidosis dental erosion, among other effects.!

Chapter4.17 – Tartaric acid

Antioxidants Effects in Health

The Bright and the Dark Side

2022, Pages 485-492

Tartaric acid is a weak acid naturally present in grapes, pineapples, and bananas. Tartaric acid is also the major acid in wine and wine vinegars. For this reason, it is an excellent marker for grape wine as only a few other fruits produce the acid in significant quantities. Furthermore, only a few microbes are capable of metabolizing tartaric acid. Tartaric acid has various functions in food. This acid is specifically preferred when increasing the acidity level of high pH wines.

Tartaric acid comes in the form of salts, which include calcium tartrate, potassium tartrate, and sodium tartrate. Winemakers has been incorporating tartaric acid in their products. Although the first extraction method was developed only in 1769 by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, a Swedish German chemist. Scheele was also the first to isolate oxalic, lactic, citric, malic, mucic, prussic, and uric acid.

Today, tartaric acid is one of the most commonly used organic acid in food manufacturing.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), tartaric acid meets the specifications of the Food Chemicals Codex, 3d Ed. (1981), P. 320. And that it is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as a direct human food ingredient.

In the European Union, the Scientific Committee for Food (SCF) established the acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 30 mg/kg body weight per day, for tartaric acid and its salts.

Numerous toxicological studies on tartaric acid revealed no toxic effects, including nephrotoxicity. Monosodium l(+) tartrate was studied over a long period of time in rats, and the greatest dose examined (3,100 mg/kg bw per day) failed to show any signs of carcinogenicity. There were no research on reproductive toxicity, nor were there any studies on maternal or developmental toxicity, however the study on chronic toxicity found no effects on the reproductive organs. Based on these studies, the EFSA Panel on Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF), established a group ADI of 240 mg/kg bodyweight per day, expressed as tartaric acid, for l(+)-tartaric acid and tartrates.

Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate: (Avoid)

Tetrasodium pyrophosphate, a chemical compound commonly found in processed foods, toothpaste, and detergents, is deemed harmful due to its lack of nutritional benefits and potential adverse effects. The additive, used as an emulsifier and thickener, has an alkaline nature and a relatively low lethal human dose, contributing to health concerns. Short-term side effects may include skin rash, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, while long-term effects could involve toxin build-up, kidney damage, and teratogenic effects. The substance is present in various processed foods like chicken nuggets, imitation meat, canned seafood, marshmallows, and soy-based meat substitutes, as well as in toothpaste and detergents. The overall assessment assigns a grade of “F” to tetrasodium pyrophosphate, emphasizing the potential risks associated with its consumption.

Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate has potential concerns for specific populations, including newborns, children, pregnant individuals, and those sensitive to Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate.

Trisodium phosphate (TSP), commonly found in processed foods, has historically been used in cleaning products. Although it serves as a thickening agent, acidity regulator, and emulsifier in the food industry, concerns arise due to potential health risks. TSP is associated with kidney damage, soft tissue calcification, bone calcium removal, and long-term ingestion may lead to conditions like osteoporosis. Poisoning symptoms from accidental exposure include breathing difficulties, coughing, throat pain, vision loss, and gastrointestinal issues. The FDA approves its use, but experts caution against excessive intake. Despite an FDA limit of 70 grams daily, popular foods often contain TSP, posing challenges in regulating consumption. To avoid TSP, recommendations include shopping at farmers’ markets, opting for whole foods, and reducing processed food intake. Substitutes for TSP in cleaning include zeolite and soda ash. Education and a shift towards less processed foods are suggested for a healthier lifestyle. – Source

Titanium Dioxide: (Toxic and unnecessary, not food)

Gives mentos their shine. Shiny. Nano-metal. Triggers biofilm production (either good or bad) and disrupts natural gut ecosystem. Directly impacted the metabolites created in the gut.

The European Union has just banned the substance from food entirely, but many U.S. experts say titanium dioxide is not cause for concern.

The Center for Food Safety called the substance “harmful and potentially poisonous.”

What Is Titanium Dioxide?

An inorganic chemical, titanium dioxide is used as a dye to help products achieve a certain appearance, including whitening a product. Some experts and publications have described it as being akin to a “paint primer” that’s used before the color is added to food in order to give products a uniform shine. Its presence is common in many items beyond Skittles including coffee creamers, cake mixes, and chewing gum. It’s also used for pigment and in cosmetics manufacturing.

“Titanium dioxide particles help light scatter and reflect,” Kelly Johnson-Arbor, MD, a medical toxicology physician at the National Capital Poison Center, told Health. “Because of that, we often use it as a whitening agent.”

One of the most common worries about titanium dioxide is that it could be a cancer-causing agent. The link between cancer and titanium dioxide traces back to a 1985 study where rats were exposed to high levels of titanium dioxide for two years, causing lung cancer. However, not all experts are convinced by this study.

There is some evidence that ingested titanium dioxide does not completely exit the body. A 2015 review of animal studies and a few human studies suggests titanium dioxide can get absorbed into the bloodstream and expose other organs to damage.

“The concern from animal studies is that high amounts of titanium dioxide have increased inflammation and colon tumor formation,” said Dr. Johnson-Arbor. A 2021 review, meanwhile, suggested that using titanium dioxide as a food additive weakens the gut lining and worsens the progression of inflammatory bowel disease.

Separately, concerns have been raised about titanium dioxide impacting one’s genetic code. This can be traced to a 2009 study which found that titanium dioxide nanoparticles caused DNA damage and genetic instability in mice. A 2022 study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology also raised concerns about the DNA-damaging effects of titanium dioxide as a food additive. The study noted that “results evidenced a DNA-damaging effect,” and added that there may also be impacts to “chromosomal integrity, an indicator of cancer risk.”

Other scientists, however, have called into question the experimental designs of such studies, citing inconsistent results specifically in studies used to test DNA damage.

Titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen “possibly carcinogen to humans.”

Trans Fats: (AVOID)

Trans fat is considered the worst type of fat to eat. Unlike other dietary fats, trans fats — also called trans-fatty acids — raise “bad” cholesterol and also lowers “good” cholesterol. A diet laden with trans fats increases the risk of heart disease, the leading killer of adults.

World Health Organization called for action to totally eliminate trans fat, ‘a toxic chemical that kills.’

What are trans fats?

There are two broad types of trans fats found in foods: naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats. Naturally-occurring trans fats are produced in the gut of some animals and foods made from these animals (e.g., milk and meat products) may contain small quantities of these fats. Artificial trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.

The primary dietary source for trans fats in processed food is “partially hydrogenated oils.” Look for them on the ingredient list on food packages. In November 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made a preliminary determination that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food.

Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It’s also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death today. Trans fatty acids have been identified as an important cause of cardiovascular disease and the resulting clinical end points such as strokes and heart attacks.

Food and Chemical Toxicology – The toxicity of dietary trans fats

Trehalose: (AVOID – Not worth the risk)

A type of sugar, trehalose enhances flavor by adding a mild sweetness to foods (it’s about half as sweet as sugar). It’s also used to extend a product’s shelf life and improve texture. We consume small amounts naturally in foods like mushrooms, yeast, and shellfish, but it’s found in far higher concentrations in processed foods. Since trehalose was approved by the FDA in 2000, it’s been used in a variety of products, such as baked goods, cereals, fish in pouches, and frozen shrimp.

What’s the concern? A study published in the journal Nature found a connection between the sweetener and Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infections. C. diff causes inflammation of the colon and diarrhea, and is potentially deadly. When you eat high amounts of trehalose, “the enzymes that break it down in our bodies get overwhelmed,” says study author Robert Britton, Ph.D., professor in the department of molec­ular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. Consuming trehalose doesn’t transmit the bacteria, he says, but it encourages its growth. And anyone who’s taking an antibiotic—which typically wipes out the good bacteria that keep C. diff in check along with ridding your body of infection—can be at risk. Britton cautions that his findings aren’t cause to eliminate trehalose from your diet if you’re healthy, because otherwise healthy people don’t get C. diff, and even in those who are susceptible (such as people in hospitals or long-term-care facilities), avoiding trehalose isn’t a cure. But, he says, “the hope is that it will reduce the strains that are causing more disease and killing more people.”

Vegetable Cellulose: (Avoid – deceptive!)

It is still the same as cellulose, in the sense that it is made from wood, cotton, and non-food cellulose.

The use of the term “vegetable cellulose” in the context of food and drug additives is more of a semantic distinction rather than a strict indicator of the source being limited to traditional vegetables like leafy greens or root vegetables. In the food industry, “vegetable” is often used more broadly to refer to plant-based materials, including those derived from non-edible plant parts such as wood or cotton.

While it might seem intuitive that “vegetable cellulose” should only come from edible vegetables, the term is commonly used to emphasize that the cellulose is plant-derived as opposed to being sourced from animals or minerals. This distinction is relevant for individuals with dietary restrictions or preferences, such as vegetarians or those with religious dietary considerations.

Whether this distinction is seen as a marketing scheme or a genuine attempt to communicate the plant-based nature of the additive depends on the context and the transparency of the labeling. In some cases, it could be a marketing choice to make a product sound more natural or appealing to consumers who associate the term “vegetable” with healthiness.

-Source: Chat GPT

Xanthan Gum: (Undecided – Seems maybe safe but not preferred. Not a lot of data, however it does not appear to have a good effect on the body)

Xanthan gum is a largely indigestible polysaccharide that is produced by bacteria called Xanthomonas Camestris. (1) Manufacturers place the bacteria in a growth medium that contains sugars and other nutrients, and the resulting product of bacterial fermentation is purified, dried, powdered, and sold as xanthan gum.

Overall, the results from animal studies on xanthan gum aren’t very concerning. In one experiment, rats were fed xanthan gum for two years in concentrations of 0.25, 0.50 or 1.0 g/kg body weight per day. (2) The only notable difference between the xanthan gum groups and the control group was that rats fed xanthan gum experienced soft stools somewhat more frequently than the control rats, but even that barely reached statistical significance. There were no differences in growth rate, survival, blood markers, organ weights or tumor incidence.

Another experiment followed a similar design but used dogs instead of rats, and the results were the same: no changes other than occasional soft stools. (3) In a three-generation reproductive study, rats were fed either 0.25 or 0.50 g/kg per day, and there were no significant changes in the parents and offspring from the xanthan gum-receiving groups.

One study, conducted to evaluate the effects of xanthan gum on digestion in rats, found that a diet containing 4% xanthan gum increased the amount of water in the intestines by 400%, and also increased the number of sugars remaining in the intestine. (5) Another study found that in rats fed 50 g/kg of xanthan gum (an incredibly high dose) for 4 weeks, the stool water content and short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) content increased significantly. (6)

This last study actually relates to the potential anti-tumor properties of xanthan gum, and researchers found that orally administered xanthan gum was able to slow tumor growth and prolong the survival of mice with melanoma. (7) The mechanism is unclear, but it’s interesting nonetheless.


What the studies say: The word “gum” is not far off, since it can really mess up your intestines if you’re not careful about amounts. When consumed in high doses, a study by Northern General Hospital discovered that Xanthan Gum can cause colonic distress, and is “a highly efficient laxative agent” that can cause flatulence and increase the “frequency of defecation.” One study out of Brazil also found that it might cause inflammation in humans based on research conducted in the lab. Animals fed a diet that included Xanthan Gum had an increase in inflammatory tissue.

Processed foods with xanthan gum and guar gum pose hidden problems for people with Histamine Intolerance.

Xylitol: (Avoid consumption)

(Xylitol, Erythritol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol and other sugar alcohols that end in –itol)

Sugar alcohols like xylitol aren’t absorbed well by the body and cause an allergic reaction for those who have a sensitivity to them. In addition, they have gastrointestinal side effects that include bloating, gas, cramping and diarrhea.

Xylitol in particular is linked to issues such as: potential weight gain, blood sugar issues, digestive concerns, and more.

Special note to dog owners: Sugar alcohol-based artificial sweeteners are life-threatening toxins to dogs. Be mindful of breath mints, candies, sugar-free gum, frozen desserts and other foods when your pets are around.

Yeast Extract/(Hydrolyzed) Autolyzed Yeast Extract: (Seems safe but not preferred)

Yeast extract is a broad term for any yeast products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast and applying the result as a food additive, for the beer-making process, or as a nutritional supplement.

What is Yeast Extract?

Yeast extract is an artificially produced fermented product, typically in the form of a dark brown paste, included in many foods as a flavor additive or nutrient booster. At its most basic level, it consists of the cell contents of a yeast cell, but without the cell wall. Yeast extract can provide a strong umami flavor to foods, and is produced in a liquid form, which can then be dried to a powder, or turned into a paste. Many foods will contain this extract as a flavoring ingredient, though some foods (i.e., Marmite or Vegemite) are primarily composed of this extract. [1]

Many people choose to avoid glutamates, such as MSG, and yeast extract is high in these components. There have been some reports of flushed skin and headaches as a result of consuming this extract.

Yeast extract, a common food ingredient (also labeled as hydrolyzed or autolyzed yeast) can trigger symptoms for those sensitive to glutamate or MSG.

To be clear, yeast extract is not MSG. Yeast extract contains glutamates, just like the natural glutamate in bone broth and aged cheeses.

There are two types of yeast extract: autolyzed and hydrolyzed. In both types, the cell walls are discarded and the cell contents are combined. The difference is in the process used to break down the proteins:

Autolyzed yeast: The enzymes in the yeast are used to break down the proteins.

Hydrolyzed yeast: Enzymes are added to the yeast.

-Google Generative AI

I cannot really find anything bad about yeast extract itself, other than it being similar to MSG due to glutamates.



To sum it up, knowing what’s in our food is super important for staying healthy. When we understand different additives and what they do, it helps us make better choices. Being healthy usually means eating a mix of good food, and avoiding toxic additives is part of that.

Checking the ingredients on food labels is crucial for looking after our bodies, and the benefits of making smart choices in what we eat will pay off in the long run.

I hope you enjoyed this list.

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