Study links use of Allura Red food dye with inflammatory bowel diseases

Allura Red is a common ingredient in candies, soft drinks, dairy products and some cereals

Long-term consumption of Allura Red food dye can be a potential trigger of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, says Canada-based McMaster University’s study. Researchers using experimental animal models of IBD found that continual exposure to Allura Red AC harms gut health and promotes inflammation.

The dye directly disrupts gut barrier function and increases the production of serotonin, a hormone/neurotransmitter found in the gut, which subsequently alters gut microbiota composition leading to increased susceptibility to colitis.

The use of synthetic food dyes such as Allura Red has increased significantly over the last several decades, but there has been little earlier study of these dyes’ effects on gut health.

The current study warrants further exploration between food dyes and IBDs at experimental, epidemiological and clinical levels.

Image credit- shutterstock

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