Yellow 6 (also referred to as FD&C Yellow dye #6, Orange Yellow 5, and Sunset Yellow FCF) is an artificial color used in food and other products. But is Yellow 6 bad for you?
Is Yellow 6 Bad For You?
Yes, it is bad for you, and has potentially harmful side effects. You should try to avoid Yellow 6 as much as you can.
What are Artificial Food Dyes?
Artificial dyes are chemical substances. Alarmingly, they are made from petroleum. In the last approximately 50 years, there has been a 500% increase in the consumption of artificial dyes in food in the United States. It is believed that artificial food dyes may cause problems such as cancer, allergies, and hyperactivity in children.
Artificial dyes are added to enhance the appearance of food. They offer no nutritional value of any kind. Yellow 6 is more harmful than several other artificial food colors. You probably don’t realize it, but it is highly likely that you consume enough Yellow 6 for it to be a real health risk. It is dangerous to consume large amounts of Yellow 6 (or any other artificial dye) on a long-term basis.
Yellow 6 is found in many products including, for example, ice cream, cake, candy, medications, pet food, packaged snacks, Jell-O, certain breakfast products, chips and crackers, waffles, cheese-flavored snacks, cereals, sweets and puddings, sauces, preserved fruits, and processed macaroni and cheese.
In studies, Yellow 6 has been proven to cause cancer in lab animals. The dye contains a chemical that is a known carcinogen (cancer-causing substance), benzene. Yellow 6 has also been demonstrated to be able to mimic estrogen in the body. This can put women at greater risk of developing breast cancer. Yellow 6 has been found to be linked to the development of adrenal tumors.
Yellow 6 (and several other chemical food dyes) have been decisively linked to hyperactivity in children. Yellow 6 has been banned by the British Food Standards agency. This means that it cannot be used in food or cosmetic products in the United Kingdom.
Adrenal Gland Tumors
Each of the body’s two adrenal glands is found on the top of a kidney. These glands are yellowish in appearance and small in size. The adrenal glands play an important role in the human body’s endocrine system. Organs and tissues that are responsible for the production of hormones are what comprise the endocrine system.
Components of the endocrine system include the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, parathyroid gland, thyroid gland, and pancreas, as well as the testicles (in males) and ovaries (in female).
The endocrine system is an essential system that facilitates the coordination, regulation, and communication of systems. The body’s responses to injury, stress, and environment; development and growth; reproduction; and body energy are regulated and maintained by the endocrine system. Hormones are produced and stored by the endocrine system.
These hormones are needed by the body’s cells, tissues, and organs. They are carried to wherever they are needed by the blood.
A tumor of the adrenal glands can be benign or malignant (cancerous, and therefore dangerous). The following are possible symptoms of an adrenal gland tumor. Keep in mind that you may not have any symptoms. Also remember that the individual symptoms listed here might be indicative of something else entirely:
- Unusual acne
- Excessive hair growth
- Stretch marks on the abdomen
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Pain in the abdominal area
- Excessive perspiration
- Feelings of nervousness and/or anxiety, or panic attacks
- Heart palpitations
- Low levels of potassium
As noted above, low levels of potassium can be a symptom of adrenal gland tumors. The condition of having low levels of potassium in the bloodstream is referred to as hypokalemia. Potassium is important because it is needed to facilitate the travel of electrical signals to the body’s cells. This is why it is essential to the health of heart muscle cells, as well as muscle and nerve cells.
It is very dangerous to have extremely low levels of potassium. The situation can even be life-threatening without immediate medical attention. Some symptoms of low potassium levels include constipation; muscle cramps; weakness; and fatigue.
You should be aware that the early stages of breast cancer may not produce any symptoms or warning signs at all. Below is a list of symptoms that may occur, especially as the cancer continues to grow:
- Changes in the appearance of the darker skin surrounding the nipple, nipple, and/or breast. There could also be a change in the way one of these areas feels. For example, there could be swelling, tenderness, or warmth. There might also be a red and scaly appearance.
- Changes in the breast’s skin or texture, such as pitting or ridging. Some people notice an orange peel texture.
- Nipple inversion (this means that the nipple has inverted back into the breast)
- Feelings of tenderness in the breast
- Discharge from the nipple
- Changes in breast shape and size
- Thickening or a lump in the underarm area or in or near the breast
Ensure that you see your doctor soon if you have any symptoms that could potentially indicate the presence of adrenal or breast cancer.
Food Coloring is Hazardous, So Why Doesn’t the FDA Ban It?
Many people are confused and frustrated by the fact that the FDA has not banned artificial food coloring additives. Unfortunately, it could be argued that the worry about adversely affecting the success of the food industry is seen by the agency as more important than protecting the health of consumers.
As Yellow 6 and several chemical food coloring agents are still used in American foods, it is contingent on shoppers to read ingredient lists and avoid foods with these potentially detrimental substances.
“Food Dyes: Harmless or Harmful?” http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/food-dyes#section2
“4 Dangers of Food Dyes”, https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/4-dangers-of-food-dyes
“The Truth about Food Dye and Cancer”, https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/food-dye-and-cancer
“Adrenal Gland Tumor: Symptoms and Signs”, http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/adrenal-gland-tumor/symptoms-and-signs
“The Endocrine System”, http://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/the-endocrine-system
“Endocrine System”, https://www.livescience.com/26496-endocrine-system.html
“Low potassium (hypokalemia)”, http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/low-potassium/basics/definition/sym-20050632
“Food coloring is bad for us but the FDA won’t admit that”, http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2016/07/food_coloring_is_bad_for_us_but_the_fda_won_t_admit_that.html