Effects of synthetic Dyes on Health

Swati Agrawal

Assistant Professor - Department of Civil Engineering Kalinga University, New Raipur

Food Dyes Currently In Use.

Everyone loves some delicious colourful eatables. Where does this colour come from? Are these colours a guilt free choice?

To answer simply, No. These artificial colours are not only shady but also a serious threat. 9 artificial food grade dyes that are currently in use after approval from the FDA are :

  1. Blue 1 (Brilliant Blue) (E 133)
  2. Sunset Yellow (Yellow 6), Sunset Yellow FCF (E110)
  3. Indigotine/Indigo Carmine, Blue 2 (Indigo Carmine), third (E132)
  4. Citrus Red 2 (IV)
  5. Tartrazine, and V. Yellow 5 (E 102)
  6. Orange B (No longer used in the U.S., but was never officially banned)
  7. Red 3 (erythrosine), erythrosine, and VII (E 127)
  8. Red 40 (Allura Red), and VIII (E 129)
  9. “Green 3 Fast Green FCF (E 143)”

Although these food colours are used almost everywhere in processed foods, a huge majority of synthetic food colors have people raising their eye brows over as they have been found suspicious as they raise significant health concerns:

    1. Severe immune failure or dysfunction is probable as the number of WBC’s increase in the blood vessels.
    2. Synthetic dyes are composed of very fine molecules, these molecule might attach themselves to receptor proteins found on the surface of our cells. This affects molecular recognition patterns within our body.
  2. It doesn’t come as a surprise that these dyes have invited several lawsuits over the years.
  3. It has come to notice that some of the most common food colours such as Yellow 5, Yellow 6 or Red 40 have proportionate quantities of well known carcinogenous substances like benzidine or 4-aminobiphenyl and 4-aminoazobenzene.
  4. As per the FDA, these carcinogens are found even in the dyes that are graded safe.
  5. There are some serious red flags with the dye Red 3. It had already been reported to contain animal carcinogens in the 90’s. However it is still in use.
    1. It has been found that Citrus Red 2 potentially causes tumors in bladders of mice and rats.
    2. Red 3 is known to cause thyroid tumors in lab rats.
  1. Blue 2 may cause brain and bladder tumors in rats.
    1. Red 40 can lead to reticuloendothelial tumours in mice, which are immune system cells that are dispersed throughout the liver, spleen, and lymphatic system.
    2.  Rats may develop testicular and adrenal cancers as a result of yellow 6.
  1. Red 40 has been shown to trigger hypersensitivity in children.
  2. Yellow 5 has been associated with hyperactivity, sensitivity, and other negative behavioural impacts in kids.
  3. According to studies, removing artificial food colours from kids’ diets may help to lessen the signs and symptoms of attention-related disorders and other behavioural issues in kids.
  • Food dyes negatively effects the working of liver and other vital organs .
  • Such dyes usually Interfere with the way our digestive enzymes work and function.
  • Increases the permeability of intestines also known as a “leaky gut”
  • They may ne associated to various respiratory diseases , such as asthma and bronchitis.Has adverse impacts on nerve cell development .


  • It is found that highly processed food items have added harmful colours and dyes that may be carcinogenic and may impose dangerous threats to one’s health.
  • It is of supreme importance that we know, understand and check the food we eat as they effect our health directly.

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