Originally published May 9 2008
Chemical Additives and Their Effects on Children
by Jo Hartley
(NaturalNews) The frightening thing about chemical additives is that their effects are not always immediately seen. Very often their effects are cumulative –- meaning that the body experiences a gradual accumulation that could lead to a variety of symptoms.
Some people are more sensitive to food chemicals than others. These people –- often children -– will have immediate effects upon ingestion. Artificial colors are particularly problematic. In general, small amounts of additives are not harmful. The effects are dose related, however. Because of their smaller size, children are consuming much larger amounts of these additives than the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI).
One disturbing issue is the "cocktails" of additives that are commonly ingested. How these additives react together has just begun to be studied in the last several years. Many study results are showing that some of these combinations can have a neurotoxic effect. In general, combinations of chemical additives seem to have a much more potent effect on nerve cells than each chemical would have alone.
For example, neurotoxic effects were studied for combinations of four common additives: Brilliant Blue with MSG and Quinoline Yellow with aspartame. These mixtures were much more lethal on nerve cells than each additive alone. The effect of Brilliant Blue and MSG was up to four times higher and Quinoline Yellow and aspartame was up to seven times higher.
The studies were conducted under laboratory conditions and the additives were mixed in concentrations to duplicate the compound that would enter the bloodstream after a typical children's snack and drink.
The study showed that when nerve cells were exposed to these combinations of additives, the additives actually halted the nerve cells from their normal growth and further interfered with the proper signaling systems.
These chemical additives (whether alone or mixed with others) carry the most risk for infants and children. Young children are the most vulnerable to chemicals that are carcinogens. This is because of their limited ability to detoxify because of the way their liver functions during infancy. In addition, their small size further provokes toxicity.
Infants and young children have higher nutritional requirements than older people. Their smaller body mass as well as the fact that their diet has less variety also contributes to their increased susceptibility to toxic reactions.
There are other factors that further increase the susceptibility of infants and young children to toxic additives. Most of these are recognized by health and science industries but are not considered when determining ADI levels for chemical additives. At this time there is no testing for effects of additives on children's behavior or learning.
Obviously, this is one of those many situations where concerned parents need to be aware of the effects that chemical additives may be having on their children and caution needs to be applied to protect vulnerable youngsters from these poisons. Children need to be protected while they are too young to make informed decisions about toxic additives in their food so that they can grow up to be healthy adults.
About the authorJo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
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