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The Dangers of Artificial Ingredients

If you walk through your local supermarket and read the labels of popular foods, you will find many ingredients labeled as artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. While these ingredients aid in marketability and shelflife, they may also pose health problems to the consumer. Here is what you need to know about the Dangers of Artificial Ingredients in your favorite foods. 

So what are they? Artificial ingredients like flavorings, colors, and sweeteners are used in many popular foods today. These ingredients can be found everywhere from the processed foods at your local supermarket to your favorite combo meal at a major fast-food chain. These "food" companies love using artificial ingredients because they are very cost-effective and allow for increases in profits as well as an increased shelf life for their products. Artificial ingredients are not naturally derived from a plant or organic compound but instead made in a lab by man.

Artificial colors are approved by the FDA to use in foods and other products. Colors among the FDA’s approved list, include Blue No. 1, Blue No. 2, Green No. 3, Red No. 3, Red No. 40, Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6. The FDA's official statement for why these colors are found in our food is to “offset color loss due to exposure to light, air, temperature extremes, moisture and storage conditions, as well as correct natural variations in color, enhance colors that occur naturally, and to provide color to colorless foods.”

Even though artificial colors are a good marketing tactic for big food companies, they may also be one of the reasons why mental health problems are on the rise. FDA itself has "probed" into the connection between artificial food dyes and children’s behavior in the form of ADHD. Artificial colors were also under investigation in the CSPI report, Food Dyes: A Rainbow of Risks, which concluded that artificial dyes could be carcinogenic, cause hypersensitivity reactions and behavioral problems.

The harmful effects of artificial colors are more evidence that mother nature knows best. Natural extracts from organic fruits, vegetables, and other plants are the best way to add color to food and dietary products, including supplements. Many companies load their supplements with tons of caffeine, sugar, and you guessed it, artificial colors like Red No. 40 and Yellow No. 5. These are all ingredients that you will never find in a supplement from Organic Muscle. We pride ourselves on using the finest eco-friendly, organic ingredients sourced right here in the United States. No Red No. 40 will be found in any of our products, instead, we use natural ingredients like beetroot, turmeric, and wheatgrass to aid in nutrition while coloring our products along the way.

Artificial colors are not the only lab-created food additive of concern. The FDA states that artificial flavors are any flavors that are not defined as natural, even if they have the same chemical composition as flavors isolated directly from nature. These artificial flavors are prepared by flavor chemists to mimic the taste of other natural ingredients.

An estimated 500 flavor chemists worldwide have prepared mixtures of flavors from popcorn and caramel to fruit and more. These artificial flavors are cheap when mass-produced, giving big food companies a more profitable outcome than natural flavors. Once again, the idea of more profits outweighs the potential dangers these ingredients may cause.

Animal studies have found that these synthetic flavors could have some concerning effects on health. One of these animal studies done on rats showed that red blood cell was significantly reduced after being fed artificial flavorings for seven days. What's even more concerning is the fact that artificial flavors like chocolate, biscuit, and strawberry have a toxic effect on their bone marrow cells. However, we must keep in mind that these studies used a much more concentrated dose than you might find in food, and further research is needed to determine how artificial flavoring in the amounts found in foods may affect humans.

We have come to the most widely used synthetic ingredients in the form of artificial sweeteners. These ingredients are used in many diet foods and beverages to enhance sweetness while reducing calorie content. Common types of artificial sweeteners include aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and acesulfame potassium. These are all names that you have probably seen on your favorite diet soda or sports drink. While it sounds great to have sweetness without calories, is it too good to be true?

Sweeteners like aspartame may cause headaches in some people, and studies show that certain individuals may be more sensitive to its effects. This individual variability may also apply to aspartame's effects on depression. People with mood disorders may be more likely to experience depressive symptoms in response to aspartame consumption. In another study, the artificial sweetener saccharin disrupted gut bacteria balance in four out of seven healthy participants who were not used to consuming them.

Once again, these are ingredients that you will NEVER find in any Organic Muscle products. We use natural sweeteners like coconut palm sugar and natural zero-calorie sweeteners like monk fruit, which has been used for thousands of years to add sweetness to foods without the extra calories. When it comes to natural vs. artificial, mother nature wins 3-0.

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