Thursday, 22 June 2017

Harmful Effects of Preservatives in Foods

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In order to prevent loses, companies producing perishable goods use preservatives to extend the lifespan of their products. This implies that they don’t have to take a loss as a result. However, these preservatives which are used for “good” can pose a serious health challenge. It effects vary based on age, health status, and allergies.
Preservatives are both good and bad. To food manufacturer’s, preservative is like gold and to consumers “no eating of spoil food”. However, the bad side of it is our main concern. Does it make sense to consume a food that possesses a serious threat to your health? Off course not. Keeping our diet fresh and natural is the key to good health. Below are these harmful effects.

Prone to Cancer

There are numerous forms of cancer today with different causes, a preservative is one of many causes. What happens when you ingest a food with preservative? Simple, they cause a transformation which results in the production of carcinogens when digestion takes place. As described by inchem (International program on chemical safety) the interaction between nitrosamines (nitrites and nitrates) and the stomach gastric acid brings about the formation of cancer-causing agents. To help protect yourself which is the actual goal, eliminate consumables with nitrates and nitrites from your diet.

Can Result in Heart damage

The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. Since an organ of such immense importance can be affected by a preservative, then caution needs to be taken. Various studies have been carried out which proves how food preservatives can weaken the heart tissue (International program on chemical safety). A laboratory test shows how that a rat fed with a food containing preservative experiences the highest level of heart damage as compared to other rats.

It can Cause a Decline in Respiratory System Health

Difficulty in breathing is one of the harmful effects of consuming foods with preservatives. It was found out that decreasing the intake of such foods can cause a tremendous decline in the symptoms and severity of asthma in patients. Below are preservatives that can result in that.


  • Sulfites
  • Benzoates
  • Yellow dye N0.5 etc

Behavioral variations



This effect is most common in young children as documented in and archive of children disease in the year 2003 which involves 1,873 children. It was seen that children consuming food with preservatives show a significant increase in hyperactive behaviors. However, removing these chemicals didn’t lead to any behavioral variation.

Chemical Compounds and their side effect

Nitrates and Nitrites



  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Increased risk of diarrhea and respiratory tract infections common to children
Example of food (bacon, lunch meat, hot dogs, sausage, smoked fish, ham and corned beef)

Sulfite harmful effect



  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea and
  • Asthmatic breathing after consuming them

Sodium Benzoate



  • Hives
  • Asthma or allergic reactions
  • Pose a small risk of cancer when it reacts with ascorbic acid in the human body.

As confirmed by WHO ( world health organization) that consuming a heavy dose of the preservative can lead to damages to internal organs such as the heart, spleen, liver, kidneys, brain and adrenal glands.

Antioxidant Preservatives


Some identified harmful effect of this chemical compound are


  • Can pose a serious risk of cancer even when little is consumed (center for science in public interest).
  • Tert-butyl hydroquinone. A study on rat reveals that this preservative can pose a serious challenge as it can increase the incidence of tumor formation.

More research needs to be done so that the complete list can be gotten.

Most of the food around in one way or the other contains preservatives so, how can we really live naturally? Simple just change your diet make it more natural. Eat more natural product and less of foods with preservatives.


Do let me know you are learning. Drop your questions and comments. Thanks

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