Behavior, Learning Problems, & other health problems due to Artificial Colors / Food Dyes, Chemicals, and Foods

The Pratt Family Allergy Free Cookbook and Resources
Pratt's Educational Resources

Artificial Colors / Food Dyes
Added 4/19/05
Did you know you are eating petroleum when you use artificial food colors/dyes?  I read at Dangers in Toothpaste that food colors use to be derived from coal tar but now it is derived from petroleumYes, you are eating petroleum!  You can make your own natural colors from vegetables and not eat something that is bad for you.  Red #40 (and maybe other food dyes) cause behavior problems (being out of control) and other problems.  We stopped using toothpastes with food coloring in April 2005.  We now use Tom's of Maine.  (Don't use the orange flavor toothpaste if you are celiac or gluten intolerant since it has gluten in it.)  Before using this toothpaste, I had a build-up on my top two teeth which I thought was plaque.  All day long I had to take my fingernails to get it off.  When I use it for the first time, it went away.  Maybe it wasn't all plaque but a petroleum build-up.  Most toothpastes have FD & C Blue #1 in it.  I read at the above link that this food coloring can cause learning, health, and behavior problems.  Nesquik (and other MILK FLAVORINGS) have food dyes in them so use natural ones or make your own milk flavorings. (Ah!laska Organic Chocolate Syrup is dye-free but you can't use it if you are allergic to corn or sulfur since it has xanthan gum in it.)  We use all natural vitamins (ours since 4/9/05 and the children since 3/31/05).  We had to switch calcium brands for the children (since Nature's Path isn't gluten-free anymore).  I have read on line that yellow food dye can cause rashes in some people and most vitamins have this food dye in it.  (I think I reacted to it because I don't get rashes as often.) No more food dyes for our family.

Added 5/3/05
Cooking For Engineers - Kitchen Notes: Additives
You will notice at the previous link it mentions under Red #40 some side effects are: ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  I know Red #40 causes these side effects.  Once this bad stuff was out of my almost 5 1/2 year old son's body, he doesn't have as many melt downs, is a lot calmer, not as many temper tantrums or refusing to do certain things we want him to do, and he doesn't whine (while talking) all day long.  I was going nuts since he already doesn't pronounce all the letters in most words and it is hard enough to understand him without him whining. .  For example, on May 1, 2005, our son wanted to put on his jacket back on in the van but I told him it was too hot to put it on.  He sat in his car seat for awhile but didn't start crying like he usually does.  He was a little sad but he eventually buckled up and was fine.  Wow!  Another time this week, I told  him I was going to throw his food away if he didn't finish it.  All he did was whine a little bit but didn't cry.  I wasn't going to throw it away but I wanted to see if his behavior has changed since going dye-free.  He was never hyper but had the other problems. I should have followed my intuition that food dyes were a problem for my son.  There is more information about ODD at: Children With Oppositional Defiant Disorder - AACAP.

Various Dyes
E Number Index
Various dyes can cause hyperactivity and other reactions.

If you are allergic to aspirin, avoid: Yellow 5 (also asthmatics), Yellow 6,  Red 40 (also asthmatics) It might cause a slight less reaction if it is consumed), and E124 (Cochineal Red, Carmic Acid, Carmines).  There are others found at the above link.

Yellow 5 (tartrazine)
Yellow 5 causes an allergic reaction for some people.  It can cause hyperactivity and other reactions.  (See the below links.)

Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder - Vitacost
Cooking For Engineers - Kitchen Notes: Additives
E102 Tartrazine
Environmental Factors and ADHD Yellow 5
Food coloring and hyperactivity? Food Ingredients & Colors Yellow 5

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Red 40
Red 40 can also cause hyperactivity and other reactions.

Cooking For Engineers - Kitchen Notes: Additives
FD & C Dyes & Sickness - Share The Weath
FD&C Red 40 Information, Education and Discussion

Dye-free Sprinkles
If you want something that is natural and contains natural colors, buy Let's Do... Organic Confetti Sprinkelz.  You can use them on cupcakes, cakes, cookies, ice cream, etc.  (From eating it, it seems to be corn-free too.)

Natural Dyes
Carmine is a natural, red dye that is excreted from a dried cochineal bug that lives in Peru.  However, if you are allergic to aspirin or are asthmatic, don't use this dye.

Foods can also cause behavior problems.  I know people on line that their children have behavior problems when they eat gluten and/or milk.  There are probably other foods that cause behavior problems.

That Kid Who Drives You Crazy! (ADD/ADHD) Including food colors, chemicals touched or ate (e.g. BHA), etc.

Final Notes
Think about what your child, grandchild, student, etc. are consuming that might be causing behavior and learning problems before putting them on medication to  control  his or her behavior.  It is always thought that it is SUGAR that is causing children to be hyperactive but maybe it is really the food dyes and/or food that is really causing behavior and/or learning problems.