Drink This and Risk Damaging Your Thyroid Gland

Drink This and Risk Damaging Your Thyroid Gland post image

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.

Iodine deficiency can lead to increased risk for breast cancer, thyroid cancer, as well as ovarian and prostate cancers.

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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Diet soda has been linked to osteoporosis (the phosphoric acid in soda — both diet and regular — leaches calcium from bones, which can make osteoporosis worse.) Additionally, habitual diet soda consumption has been linked to type 2 diabetes, weight gain and now stroke. – See more at: https://realfoodforager.com/drink-this-and-risk-stroke/#sthash.1jP2ftwJ.dpuf

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Leave a Comment

  • Amber July 10, 2013, 10:36 pm

    Another great post, Jill! Thank you!!!


  • happy momma July 11, 2013, 11:41 am

    Thanks for this post. I suffer from thyroid problems which I am thinking is caused by adrenal fatigue. I am learning more and more about it all the time. I have never liked gatorade and this may be part of the reason. When I have had a swig or two it makes me sick. I have started grinding my own flours, becuase the bromine in flour just makes me shudder. When I read that white flour kills ants, it poisons them. I just thought to myself what is it doing to us? There are probably many other things out there that were supposed to be studied more and are left falling through the cracks and until we start to yell and scream about it there is no hope for change and even then, you never know. The best thing to do is to eat real food that is made God, and not made by man in a factory. I belive this more and more each day.

  • GiGi Eats Celebrities July 12, 2013, 11:37 pm

    Have you ever tried ZEVIA? What are your thoughts?

    • Jill July 13, 2013, 9:36 am

      What is Zevia?

  • CJ June 5, 2014, 6:51 pm

    How long does it take to detox from bromine toxicity? Also how long will it take for my thyroid to recover. I have been a heavy (very heavy) Diet Mountain Dew drinker for about 8 years. My biggest problem is heat intolerance and excessive sweating.

    • Jill June 5, 2014, 8:17 pm

      It is individual depending on how toxic you are. Sweating does help remove toxins.

  • Emelda July 5, 2014, 4:34 am

    Hi, I drank squirt and Fresca. I didn’t know I had a thriyod problem. I now have thriyod medicine. My thriyod was having problems when I was in 8th grade but didn’t get thriyod medicine until age 32 when my thriyod quit after having two kids in a row that drained the vitamins/good oils out of me. Gluten can make antibodies the thriyod and Celiac is the cause of my thriyod issues. I am also full of heavy metals and do EDTA/DMPS IV chelation which takes out the lighter elements on the periodic chart before the heavier metals and then I need to replace the good minerals/metals. Colloidal silver blocked my thriyod and more. My body built it up. I take iodine/iodide now and I can tell I have more energy doing that so my thriyod must still be working alittle. I suffered greatly due to low thriyod .my periods were heavy and worse the childbirth, but I didn’t know it was thriyod. I have a strange TSH is very low but I need thriyod medicine. Gluten can make antiobodies to the thriyod and pituitary that makes TSH. I think my body is not making TSH. Some doctors then wanted to withhold the thriyod medicine. I have MS due to Celiac which is due to low oxygen in my brain. Low thriyod makes the MS kick in. Synthroid only didn’t help much and I suffered many years until I got also Armour thriyod. It was hard emotionally to have doctors want to withhold thriyod medicine and let my MS kick in. I finally found Alternative medicine which understands more about the thriyod and has the freedom to help me more than Conventional doctors. Soy/brominate vegetable oil/cruciferous raw vegetables may block thriyod. I knew none of this and many others don’t. Too bad people have to suffer greatly not getting real help and then most may get Synthroid T4 only which doesn’t help them much. Few find out they are Celiac which may cause low thriyod or hyper thriyod (which may eventually burn out to be low thriyod), due to tests not working to diagnose Celiac and doctors not being trained in it. It is strange .I can’t have taurine/tyrosine/tryptophan maybe due to heavy metals. Tryosine can help thriyod.

  • link September 19, 2014, 5:20 pm

    I’m out of league here. Too much brain power on display!

  • Jiliana August 18, 2016, 6:01 pm

    I think perhaps that my Hashimoto Syndrome did come from drinking many cans of diet orange soda. I love soda and drank Diet Coke for many years but having read how unhealthy it is, I switched to diet orange and happily drank it for several years. During that time, however, my health did get much worse and I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I have only recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto Syndrome as well. I just remembered reading this article several years ago, which saw me quit diet orange and return to Diet Coke. I do think there us a link and I hope that eventually my thyroid will return to a more natural state. Thank you for this article. It was quite informative!

    • Dr. Jill August 19, 2016, 5:16 pm

      Hi Jiliana,
      Thanks for sharing!