The chemical in question is brominated vegetable oil - a harmful compound more commonly associated with flame retardants. Brominated vegetable oil is thought to cause a number of serious health conditions, and this extremely damaging substance has even been implicated in the development of Bromism, an extremely damaging neurological disorder.
Companies like PepsiCo use brominated vegetable oil to stabilize citrus-flavored soft drinks, but clinical trials show that people who imbibe too much brominated vegetable oil are at risk of suffering from increased fatigue, muscle tremors, loss of coordination and extreme headaches. A trial that pitted a group of drip-fed rats against a control group fed a normal diet free of brominated vegetable oil also showed that brominated vegetable oil could potentially cause impaired growth and severe behavioral impairments if it was allowed to build up in our systems.
Unfortunately, PepsiCo and their competitors have been able to add brominated vegetable oil to our drinks for over 40 years by exploiting a legal loophole that enabled them to have private experts declare chemicals generally recognized as safe or GRAS. Chemicals classified as GRAS dont have to be declared to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, and theres no legal requirement to declare them on packaging or ingredients list. The Food and Drug Administration recently passed regulation limiting the concentration of brominated vegetable oil that can appear in soft drinks to 15 parts per million, but this potentially lethal chemical still enjoys widespread use in a number of readily available beverages.
What To Avoid
If youre worried about accidently imbibing a harmful dose of brominated vegetable oil, youd do well to avoid Powerade, Fanta Orange, Squirt and the Dr Pepper Snapple Groups Sunkist peach soda. All these drinks have been shown to contain brominated vegetable oil, as well as a number of other potentially damaging chemicals capable of exacerbating our allergies, and increasing our blood pressure.
In fact, if youre really concerned about your health, you might want to consider avoiding soft drinks altogether. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, a non-partisan organization with a keen interest in public health, the soft drink industry relies on over 3,000 potentially lethal chemicals like brominated vegetable oil that have been certified as GRAS by private contractors, and approved for use in our soft drinks.
Weaning yourself off these sugary, calorie-rich drinks might seem challenging at first, but its definitely worth the effort; Aside from the fact that they might contain a number of dangerous chemicals, soft drinks are also thought to dissolve tooth enamel, increase the risk of diabetes by up to 80 percent and encourage the development of osteoporosis by flooding your body with phosphoric acid, which binds to calcium, and weakens your bones.
Alex Bussey writes for Water for Health, a family-run business that specializes in providing people with the tools they need to enjoy optimum health, and combat a number of serious medical conditions.