Why We Avoid Artificial Preservatives

What are the Problems with Artificial Preservatives?

Artificial preservatives are used most frequently in packaged food to make them last longer in stores. It can be very difficult to completely eliminate preservatives from your diet but cutting down is easy and recommended for improved long-term health. [1] “Some of the most popular are sodium benzoate, sorbic acid, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT).” [2]

Sodium Benzoate
  • Sodium benzoate is a man-made compound. It is typically used in food and beverages to prolong shelf-life.

  • Studies have linked this artificial preservative to the development of inflammation, ADHD, excessive appetite, oxidative stress, and allergies.

  • The compound is often found in diet sodas and fruit-flavored sodas. [3]

Sorbic Acid
  • Sorbic acid can be an allergen for some people

  • Sorbic acid can cause skin irritation in the topical form

  • The most risk is found when exposed to undiluted sorbic acid [4]

Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)
  • BHA has been shown to induce allergic reactions in the skin. BHA has been classified as a possible human carcinogen

  • “BHA is listed as a chemical of potential concern, noting its toxicity to aquatic organisms and potential to bioaccumulate”

  • There also isn’t enough information to know whether BHT can be safely used on the skin. [5]

Side Effects of Artificial Preservatives:

  1. Some artificial preservatives could trigger breathing problems such as asthma and bronchitis.

  1. Preservatives can cause hyperactive behavior in young children.

  1. Sustained and excessive consumption of artificial preservatives can weaken heart tissues.

  1. They could contain BHA and BHT food additives which could be cancer-causing.

  1. Preservatives could cause obesity as they contain fatty acids, especially in processed foods. [6]

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