Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience and a medical advice columnist for Newsmax Magazine. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. He is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

What Chemical Additives Trigger Allergies?

Thursday, 26 Sep 2013 04:59 PM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: What chemical additives and preservatives in different foods present a risk or trigger allergies?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
All chemical additives can trigger allergies. The worst offenders are the food colorings permitted to make food look fresher.
 
Avoid butchers who add red coloring to meat. Avoid tartrazine dyes and FD and C yellow dyes, which may contribute asthma in some.
 
MSG is a favorite to make greens seem bright after being cooked, but avoiding this may prevent migraine headaches and sniffles in those who are sensitive. Try not to store foods in plastic, as the plastics can degrade especially with fatty foods.
 
Use glass to store food and avoid pottery cups that contain colors and chemicals in the glaze that may also be toxic. Some glazes have lead and other heavy metals and while it is OK to drink from them, avoid storing food and liquid in glazed containers or in soft plastic containers or bags.
 
If you want to use plastic storage bags, place food in a glass container and slip it into the bag so food does not come in direct contact with the plastic. Do not store alcohol or drinks in leaded crystal, which can dose you with poisonous lead. Occasionally drinking from crystal poses low risks.

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