Avoid These 5 Poisons That Were APPROVED By The FDA

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Avoid These 5 Poisons That Were APPROVED By The FDA
Avoid These 5 Poisons That Were APPROVED By The FDA. Grahpic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Image sources – see foot of article

There are many controversial food additives that have been demonstrated by various scientific studies to be harmful towards humans. Here is a list of five of the most notorious that, astonishingly, were approved for use:

1: Sodium Nitrate (and Nitrite)

Sodium nitrate is a chemical compound added to various meats to prolong their shelf-life. It is usually found in hotdogs, bacon, ham, and other similar products that are marketed to keep for a long time compared to fresh meat. While this salt additive works incredibly well in terms of preservation, it has also raised a few red flags in the health department. [1]

Aside from the obvious link between salt additives and hypertension, sodium nitrate also has toxic effects on the body. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), ingestion of sodium nitrate in toxic amounts (likely far higher than the actual amount in foods) can cause acute symptoms including abdominal pain, convulsions, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and even loss of consciousness. The report also states “The substance may cause effects on the blood, resulting in formation of methaemoglobin when ingested.”[2]

However there is research linking sodium nitrate to cancer. Researching deeper into this, I found that it’s (surprise surprise) a controversial topic – with WebMD stating glibly [3] “there’s nothing that conclusively shows that sodium nitrates are unsafe” (to which I would respond, “Well there’s nothing that conclusively shows that we are not living in a simulation”). Then on the other side of the fence, we have EWG (Environmental Working Group) stating “both nitrates and nitrites can form nitrosamines in the body, which can increase your risk of developing cancer.” [4] Now EWG does link to a list of scientific studies [5], which you can review for yourself – showing themselves (once again) to be a credible and authoritative resource. Note the difference between someone who is “deciding for you” what you ought to think and someone who allows you to view their working and pursue your own process of inquiry?

2: MSG

Monosodium glutamate is another well-known food additive – intended to prolong the shelf-life of food and (allegedly) improve its taste. This chemical is likely the most controversial item on this list, because it is FDA approved despite people reporting harrowing side effects akin to allergic reactions (e.g. dizziness, rashes, chest pain). While the FDA states that MSG is “general recognized at safe”, they still require food items that contain it to include in the label. [6]

The BBC published an “debunk” in 2015 [7] about a study by Dr. Olney that showed how MSG, whether ingested or injected intravenously, caused neurologic damage to the test subjects (mice) – killing healthy brain tissue. The article goes on to list other studies that failed to find conclusive evidence and what appears to be a strange attempt at a cover-up – however when we compare that to the research from the “other side of the fence” we find deeper problems.

MSG is an excitotoxin, described by Blaylock in his book (Amazon link) as a substance that literally stimulates cells to death. It’s also extremely difficult to remove it completely from your diet, because MSG is hiding under a giant list of other names (I’ve linked to our list, take a look – it’s quite shocking!)

Given the controversy, and the fact that it is completely unnecessary to your life, avoid! Check labels (carefully) and when ordering Chinese food, inquire if MSG is used in their cooking process.

3: Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is a chemical popularly used in processing flour to improve dough quality, allowing “higher rising” of bread during the baking process. Despite the FDA allowing its use as a flour improver, there have been many studies that link potassium bromate to various unhealthy effects on the human body. A 2009 study by Wei, et al. found that potassium bromate caused kidney cancer when ingested in high doses. More recent studies in 2014 and 2015 have linked the chemical to oxidative damage in tissues and red blood cells, which can contribute to the formation of cancer cells. Different countries have also banned potassium bromate early on, like the United Kingdom. If this chemical has been linked to cancer and is banned in some major countries… better avoid it, and skip all forms of brominated flour and pastries all together. [8][9][10][11]

4: Acesulfame Potassium (aka. Acesulfame K)

In a world that is in a constant battle against diabetes, the popularity of artificial sweeteners has sky rocketed. Low-calorie and basically anti-glucose, artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Equal are marketed as “healthy” alternatives to sugar. However, like most artificial food additives, acesulfame potassium is not completely safe. While this additive is FDA approved, a study by Cong, et. al. in 2013 found that long-term ingestion of this sweetener caused neurologic and metabolic alterations in the body. While the FDA sticks to their statement that acesulfame potassium doesn’t cause cancer, maybe it’s time to get your sugar fix from natural sources like fruits and vegetables. [12]

5: Olestra

Olestra or “Olean” is a fat substitute designed to mimic the taste of fat without having any actual calories. In theory it sounds like a dieter’s dream come true — but Purdue University has immediately debunked that weight loss myth. [13] While this additive isn’t banned by the FDA, it lost its popularity after numerous reports of diarrhea and other disastrous gastrointestinal effects like anal leakage were widely reported in the US. Scary! A study published by the Purdue University found that olestra actually caused weight gain, not weight loss as advertised, because it causes disruptions in the body’s metabolic processes, leading to unwanted weight gain. Diarrhea and weight gain? No thanks. The science indicates that it’s best opt for healthier snacks instead. [14]


[1] Zeratsky, K. Does the sodium nitrate in processed meat increase my risk of heart disease? https://mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/sodium-nitrate/faq-20057848

[2] National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Sodium Nitrate. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng0185.html (via web archive)

[3] WebMD: “Is Sodium Nitrate Safe” https://www.webmd.com/diet/is-sodium-nitrate-safe

[4] EWG: “Nitrates and Nitrites in your food” https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news/how-avoid-added-nitrates-and-nitrites-your-food

[5] EWG: “Nitrate” https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/reviewed-nitrate.php

[6] Zeratsky, K. What is MSG? Is it bad for you? https://mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/monosodium-glutamate/faq-20058196

[7] Nogrady, B. (2015). Monosodium glutamate is blamed for a range of nasty side effects. But is there evidence to back up these claims? https://bbc.com/future/story/20151106-is-msg-as-bad-as-its-made-out-to-be

[8] Wei, M., et. al. (2009). Potassium bromate enhances N-ethyl-N-hydroxyethylnitrosamine-induced kidney carcinogenesis only at high doses in Wistar rats: indication of the existence of an enhancement threshold. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19833912

[9] Ben Saad, H., et. al. (2014). A mineral and antioxidant-rich extract from the red marine Algae Alsidium corallinum exhibits cytoprotective effects against potassium bromate-induced erythrocyte oxidative damages in mice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24913101

[10] Sultan, M., et. al. (2015). Nigella sativa fixed and essential oil modulates glutathione redox enzymes in potassium bromate induced oxidative stress. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26385559

[11] Aguayo, J., et. al. (2015). Potassium bromate. https://ewg.org/research/potassium-bromate

[12] Cong, W., et. al. (2013). Long-term artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium treatment alters neurometabolic functions in C57BL/6J mice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23950916

[13] Purdue University. (2011). Study: Trying to lose weight? Lose the fat substitutes. https://purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2011/110621SwithersObesity.html

[14] Hutchison, C. (2011). Not So (O)Lean: Eating Faux Fat Makes Rats Real Fat. https://abcnews.go.com/Health/Diet/eating-fake-fat-makes-real-fat-olestra-study/story?id=13893613

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