This ingredient in citrus flavored soft drinks and popular sport drinks, is banned in Europe and Japan. Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is used to prevent the separation of fat soluble citrus flavored oils in soft drinks. While there are restrictions in the use of BVO — limiting its concentration to 15 parts per million — it is still a dangerous endocrine disruptor, especially when consumed on a daily basis and even in quantities under the set limits.
What Are the Dangers of Brominated Vegetable Oil?
This is a compound made with bromine, a halogen in the same line as chlorine and iodine — and vegetables oils — usually soy or corn. I guess I can stop right there.
The oils used in this compound are undoubtedly genetically modified oils as the corn and soy in this country is 90% GM.
Furthermore, the bromine displaces iodine in the body — taking up the iodine receptor sites, causing iodine deficiency. The repercussions of iodine deficiency are numerous because iodine is critical for thyroid hormone production in the body.
Both active (T3) and stored (T4) thyroid hormone are made with 3 and 4 iodine molecules respectively. When bromine displaces iodine on the receptor site, thyroid hormone cannot be made.
It is estimated that 13 million Americans have hypothyroidism, but this is way lower than reality. Many people are walking around with undiagnosed hypothyroid because conventional medicine relies only on the blood tests which are inadequate and inaccurate much of the time. Additionally, conventional medicine does not even look at the correct thyroid blood tests — a topic for another post.
Symptoms of hypothyroid include but are not limited to, weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, constipation, cold hand and feet, dry skin, puffiness around the eyes, depression.
Soda — A Poison
You probably don’t drink soda because you know it is toxic and has no redeeming value at all. In fact, it has been shown the diet sodas are even worse for you and have been associated with type 2 diabetes, weight gain and carries the risk of stroke.
Soda has also been linked to osteoporosis (the phosphoric acid in soda leaches calcium from bones, which can make osteoporosis worse.)
Why anyone drinks soda is puzzling to me as I have never enjoyed it. But, I guess people do like it as the soda industry sells billions of dollars of soda each year.
FDA Defines BVO as Interim Food Additive
BVO is one of four substances that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has defined as interim food additives. The other three are acrylonitrile copolymers, mannitol, and saccharin.
What this means is that they are on the fence about its safety, yet it is still used in about 15% of soft drink products. These include, Mountain Dew, made by PepsiCo; Powerade, Fanta Orange and Fresca from Coca-Cola; and Squirt and Sunkist Peach Soda, made by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group.
The FDA took BVO off its list of substances “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) in 1970, after the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association revoked its approval of it. This group’s expert panel is the primary body for evaluating the safety of flavoring substances added to food and the FDA goes along with its rulings.
BVO has been listed as in interim food additive since 1977 when some studies were done in mice, rats, dogs and pigs. that were not definitive. The ruling was made to allow it in products but only up to 15 ppm. This was supposed to be followed up, but here we are, 35 years later and no further testing has been done.
Is BVO Safe?
In this study, published in Food Chemistry, Bendig, Maier and Vetter found that, based on BVO of 8 ppm, (less than the limit) the average daily human intake of BVO exceeds the intake of other organobromine compounds, by greater than 4000 times for adults and greater than 1000 times for children.
In this study published in Food and Cosmetics Toxiclogy in 1970, researchers found BMO (bromated maize oil) in the fatty tissues of rates when fed BMO at .8 ppm. They also found enlargement and fatty infiltration of the liver and kidneys and a mild fatty infiltration in the heart.
In 1971 this study published int he British Journal of Nutrition researchers concluded that
These findings, in conjunction with previous animal studies and with the geographical differences in the use of brominated vegetable oils as food additives, suggest that the high bromine levels found in the fat of tissues from children in the UK are due to the use of these compounds.
Sodas are the largest source of calories for teenagers between the ages of 14 to 18, according to this study at the National Cancer Institute. For adults, soda, energy and sports drinks are the fourth largest source of calories. Frightening isn’t it?
The worst part about it, aside from the toxins and all the additives, the GMO’s and food colorings, is the fact that it is displacing the real food that people should be eating in order to receive proper nutrition. These folks are over weight and under nourished.
Most Likely Source of Bromine Toxicity
Bromine toxicity is a real problem among video gamers. According to this article, they appear to drink many bottles of the specific soft drinks that contain BVO. Along with the other toxic additives, like caffeine, food colorings and preservatives, as well as the sugar, they are at risk because they are way over the normal level of consumption of BVO considered safe.
Symptoms of bromine toxicity include, skin rashes and severe acne, fatigue, metallic taste, cardiac arrhythmia and loss of appetite and abdominal pain.
Sources of Bromine
Some other sources of bromine exposure include, pesticides (particularly on strawberries), plastics (computers), baked goods made with bromated flours (most commercial brands), fire retardants particularly in cushions and mattresses, upholstery particularly in new cars, some medications, and some swimming pool treatments.
BVO on the Chopping Block
In December 2012 a 15 year old started a petition to PepsiCo, the makers of Gatorade on Change.org that elicted over 200,000 signatures. She is hoping to get them to remove BVO from their Gatorade formula.
BVO is banned in the European Union and Japan. These countries have a substitute for it — but this substitute is more costly… what it all comes down to — profits, not concern for the safety of the product.
Here’s a quick fix — stop drinking any of these products altogether and you will be much healthier. Can you believe the ingredient list on this bottle of soda? There is nothing real in it at all! It is completely made of chemicals and all of them are toxic!
Avoid the other products that contain bromine and your thyroid will thank you.
Do you have thyroid problems? Could it be from bromine exposure? Leave a comment and let me know!
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