It was everywhere in the news a week ago that PepsiCo Inc. is removing a controversial ingredient, brominated vegetable oil (BVO) from its Gatorade sports drink in response to customer complaints. Excellent news, demonstrating remarkable power of Internet in tandem with expressed public concern to force Big Food manufacturer to react in a matter of one month! Wonderful! We have learned the lesson, but what about other numerous products on the market that contain BVO and keep jeopardizing public health? I mean our children’s health in particular – the future of this country.
Why BVO is added?
What brominated vegetable oil is added for? Bromine is a heavy atom. Hence, density of brominated and, especially, poly-brominated substances are significantly above average. BVO may contain dozens of bromine atoms per molecule. Therefore manufacturers of fake orange drinks add BVO to increase the density of a beverage in order to help uniformly distribute droplets of citrus essential oil (flavor) that otherwise would be floating gathered on the top. Here is an example of fatty acid bromination in chemical scheme terms:
Health effects of BVO
FDA regulation: Brominated vegetable oil – STAB, INTERM/REG, <15 ppm – In fruit flavored beverages where not precluded by a standard – 180.30. Thus BVO content in beverages should not exceed ~ 15 mg/L. Hence a person who drunk 2 – 4 L of cola containing BVO a day might be exposed to 30 to 60 mg of BVO daily to get heavily intoxicated. In 1972, the FDA designed a special transitional category for food-use substances, Interim food additives, whose safety has been called into question.
Brominated vegetable oil terrorizes human body in a number of ways:
- Mimics natural triglycerides when sneaking onboard to your body with a concealed bromine “bomb”
- When inside, after broken down with pancreatic lipase to mono-glycerides and the brominated fatty acids, toxic pieces are built into the tissue cells all over your body (including your brain!) leading to degradation of muscles, liver, kidneys, heart and brain. See attached file: Toxic Effects of Brominated Vegetabl Oils (click on the link there)
- Slowly releases bromide to the blood stream causing further CNS damage and behavioral issues
- BVO and its metabolites may cause damage of DNA and enzymes because they are capable of acting as alkylating agents.
Which other drinks contain BVO?
Brominated vegetable oil is also added to the following drinks, to name a few (needless to say, DyeDiet Doesn’t Buy It!):
Can you still like the Mountain Dew knowing all the above? I don’t know about you but sadly in 2011 there were ~5.5 million lovers on Facebook and today already 7,658.007; more than 2,6 million up! Believe me, that I am NOT one of them, so don’t be you too!
What to do
Here is a very useful quotation from Food Dyes and Allergies 2011 article:
“Since the introduction of these ingredients and chemicals into our food supply, we’ve had a 300 percent increase in asthma, a 400 percent increase in ADHD and between a 1,500 and 6,000 percent increase in autism,” she said. “There’s much debate about what could be causing these increases, but I think we can’t ignore these numbers.” So how can we help make changes? “We have to speak up,” she said. “Even big corporations will make changes if demand is high. Kraft put out a Lunchables in the U.K. without dyes, [and with] reduced fat and lower sodium. They don’t do it here because it’s more expensive to use natural ingredients, and we haven’t demanded this change here in the U.S.”
Yes, yes, yes… I want to stress: When even American kids, like Sarah Kavanagh can’t play mute slaves anymore, it’s a shame for the adults not to do something! What exactly? Well, wake up and demand the damn changes! At a very least, we need:
- Start reading ingredient lists,
- Start playing the Dye Diet Calculator and
Reject drinks containing brominated vegetable oil (BVO)!