AAP are worried about Food Additives. Find out Why!
Food additives like salt and vinegar have been used for thousands of years to be able to preserve food for leaner times. Salt was a very precious mineral before the advent of fridges and freezers and at one point was even used as a sort of monetary unit.
Sugar came along later on and was used for preserving food too, and eventually for making chocolate, confectioneries, desserts and such like. Unfortunately, it is causing many of the health problems we are seeing today like diabetes, tooth decay, cardiovascular conditions and even thought to be, at least partly, to blame for dementia.
Chemical Food Additives
Chemical food additives were starting to be used more and more extensively from the 1940s as food producers were trying to find ways to preserve their food products so that they could be transported greater distances as means of transport became more extensive and the need greater.
Chemicals were not always tested because they were deemed to be Generally Recognised as Safe (GRAS). This has left us in somewhat of a dilemma in modern times as this has not been reviewed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been looking into this problem and have published a report.
Common Food Additives may be Dangerous to Kids, AAP Report says
New AAP Report Says Food Additives Could Be Harming Kids
Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH, official spokespeople for the American Academy of Pediatrics and the co-authors of The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers. They write about the latest AAP guidelines, studies and seasonal issues affecting babies and toddlers.
The ingredients in so many food products these days are difficult to pronounce and even harder to identify. And that’s a problem. This week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) came out with a report saying there’s increasing evidence that chemicals added to food can have concerning effects on kids’ health.
More than 10,000 chemicals are legally allowed to be directly added to our food or come in contact with our food through packaging, the report states. The long-term effects of some of these chemicals haven’t been well studied, while others can pose known health concerns.
Perhaps even more troublesome is the fact that while many chemicals are designated as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS), the FDA process of approving additives may involve conflicts of interest: The evaluation of an additive for GRAS designation is sometimes conducted by employees (or those with ties to) of the company that manufactures the additive. Plus, the FDA doesn’t have the necessary authority to reassess chemicals already in use that may have been approved years ago based on outdated testing methods, and no testing is being done to evaluate potential cumulative effects of food additives.
The AAP is calling for much needed improvements in regulating these chemicals, including making sure GRAS is sufficiently stringent,.
Are Chemicals Crossing the Blood-Brain Barrier of our children?
Now we are starting to recognise the effects that chemical food additives are having on us and especially on children. The latter may be due partly to their smaller size but also due to the fact that the blood-brain barrier of children does not become a proper barrier and is fairly porous until puberty or thereabouts. So what is the blood-brain barrier of children allowing to access the brain? This sounds scary!
This means that chemicals of all sorts can more easily cross into the brains of children and cause problems.
Food dyes/colourings have of recent years been particularly connected by scientists with ADHD and great benefit has been found by many parents by eliminating them from the child’s diet.
Glutamate, why do we need it?
Glutamate (also known as glutamic acid although it is a form of glutamate actually) is essential for our brains and our performance in everyday life.
Glutamate, which is a non- essential amino acid (protein), acts as a chemical messenger or in other words a neurotransmitter. It helps messages to pass down nerve cells. It is the most abundant neurotransmitter in the brain.
We would not function at all well if our glutamic acid levels were not sufficient.
We make our own glutamic acids but they are found naturally in the protein of both plants and animals.
Glutamate works by exciting the nerve cell which is why it is called an “excitatory neurotransmitter”.
Like the 3 bears story – The Glutamate level must be “just right”
The balance of glutamate needs to be just right to be able to pass the message efficiently, but not be over-excited/over stimulated, so that it cannot function properly and and as a result may cause strange symptoms in thought and sensory processes.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) has been found to give problems on this front! It is to be found in many foods in many guises but is especially known for its use in Chinese foods. Some Chinese restaurants are very good at not using MSG though, it has to be said.
Over-stimulation from MSG
The Mayo Clinic lists the following symptoms from over-stimulation from monosodium glutamate:
- Facial pressure or tightness
- Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas
- Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
- Chest pain
There is thought that there might be a link between ADHD, autism and glutamate.
Genetically Modified food (GM) or (GMO)
Genetically modified food is another problem that seems to be here to stay unless some drastic changes can be made.
A study was carried out back in 2011 in Quebec about the prevalence of the toxins that are implanted into genetically modified crops to make them more resistant to pests/weed-killer. The jury is out on which of those it is really there to resist. Glyphosate is a key player i this field.
Here is a report about the study by Andy Bloxham:
“Scientists at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at the University of Sherbrooke Hospital Centre in Quebec, took dozens of samples from women.
Traces of the toxin were found 93 per cent of the pregnant mothers and in 80 per cent of the umbilical cords.
The research suggested the chemicals were entering the body through eating meat, milk and eggs from farm livestock which have been fed GM corn.
The findings appear to contradict the GM industry’s long-standing claim that any potentially harmful chemicals added to crops would pass safely through the body.
To date, most of the global research which has been used to demonstrate the safety of GM crops has been funded by the industry itself.
FoodThere are “apps” available now that can read bar-codes on food-labels and inform you as to how healthy the ingredients of the food product are and if it contains anything worrisome.
These apps can be productive in obtaining changes in what food our supermarkets supply us. It has been found that when supermarket-managers see their customers walking around reading barcodes avidly, that they start to think more carefully about how healthy the food is that they stock for their consumers.
We need to be aware when food-shopping that we should read food-labels (with the aid of apps too) and that we need to stay up-to-date with food processing, labelling rules and guide-lines so that we know what to expect to be labelled and what not. Buyer beware!
Growing your own food wherever and whenever possible is obviously the ideal thing to do given the time and the garden in which to do it, otherwise buying organic, non-GM food is the best alternative.
Meat, milk and eggs need to be from pasture-raised animals that are eating non-GM organic crops. As we have seen from the research study done in Quebec, it matters what the animals eat from which our food is sourced, whether it be meat, milk or eggs.
Remember - Healthy farm-animals produce healthy food.