According to Khan, Allura Red (also known as FD&C Red 40 and Food Red 17) is an ingredient often used in candies, soft drinks, dairy products and some cereals. Paint is usually used to add color and texture to dishes to attract youngsters.

The use of synthetic food dyes, such as Allura Red, has expanded dramatically over the past few decades, but little research has been done on the effects of these colors on gut health. Khan and colleagues reported their findings in the journal Nature Connections. The first author is Yun Han (Eric) Kwon, who recently received his Ph.D. In Khan’s laboratory.


Harmful Effects of Allura Red Food Dye

“This study demonstrates significant adverse effects of Allura Red on gut health and identifies gut serotonin as a critical factor mediating these effects. These findings have important implications for the prevention and management of gut inflammation,” said lead study author Professor Khan. Fellow in the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and Principal Investigator at the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute.

Food Dye Trigger Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

“What we found is surprising and exciting because this common synthetic food dye is a possible dietary trigger for IBD. This study is an important step forward in informing the public about the potential harms of the food dyes we consume every day,” he said. “The literature suggests that consumption of Allura Red also affects certain allergies, immune disorders, and behavioral problems in children, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

According to Han, IBDs are significant chronic inflammatory diseases of the human gut that affect millions of people globally. Although the specific causes are unknown, studies have revealed that these disorders can be triggered by dysregulated immunological responses, genetic factors, gut microbiome abnormalities, and environmental factors.

In recent years, significant progress has been made in identifying susceptibility genes and in understanding the involvement of the immune system and host microbiota in the pathogenesis of IBD. However, he argues that similar progress in pinpointing environmental risk factors has lagged behind.

Environmental Factors for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

According to Khan, environmental factors for IBD include a typical Western diet low in processed fats, red and processed meats, sweets and fiber. He further noted that the Western diet and processed foods contain many different additives and colors.

He went on to say that the findings suggest a link between a commonly used food color and IBD, and that more research on food dyes and IBD is needed at the experimental, epidemiological and clinical levels.

Source: Medium

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