A Colourful Con - Harmful Effects of Artificial Colours

A Colourful Con - Harmful Effects of Artificial Colours

Artificial Dyes or Colours are common place in our food and supplements today. In fact, consumption of them has increased a whopping 500% in the last 50 years.

While many countries have limited and even banned these synthetic chemicals, Australia, New Zealand and the USA continue to allow them in foods, confectionary and sports nutrition products.

When we created SWITCH NUTRITION we wanted to help not harm, so it was a NO BRAINER to go colour free! We were surprised at how many so called ‘Health’ or ‘Performance’ supplements contained these artificial ingredients.

Not surprisingly, when you google the numbers E102 (Yellow 5), E110 (Yellow 6) or E129 (Red 40) you don’t find any health or performance benefits. You will, however find articles, abstracts and studies supporting their toxicity.  

Note: When a toxic compound enters the body your detoxification system goes into overdrive. This essentially puts your body into a stressed state. The liver and other organs work hard to eliminate these toxins which may cause weight gain, inflammation, leaky gut, rapid heart rate, hyperactivity, mood disturbances, poor sleep, lowered libido, allergies, brain fog and much more.

There is even more concerning research on these compounds, linking them and their ingredients to tumours, severe allergies and hyperactivity. Evidence suggests they can cause nerve cell damage, DNA changes (mutagenicity) and mitochondrial dysfunction. 

Let’s look at the top three colours that make up 90% of what’s used in the supplement industry.

FD&C YELLOW 5 (E102) – Tartrazine: This chemical colourant is approved for use in foods in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. However, in 2010 the European Union legislated that foodstuffs containing tartrazine carry this package warning ''Tartrazine may have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children.” It has also been linked to asthma, migraines, thyroid cancer, weight gain, anxiety, clinical depression, blurred vision, purple skin spots and unexplainable itching.

FD&C YELLOW 6 (E110) – Sunset Yellow: This artificial colour has been banned in Norway because its known to cause nasal congestion, hives, allergies, kidney tumours, DNA damage, hyperactivity, abdominal pain, headaches, migraines, vomiting, nausea, hormonal changes and more.

FD&C RED 40 (E129) – Allure Red: This azo dye is banned in more than six European countries and was voluntarily phased out of the UK. However, it continues to be used and sold in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. It is commonly found in sports nutrition powders and can cause some serious side effects. These include dizziness, muscle pain, heart palpitations, asthma, shortness of breath, lowered libido and liver tumours.

All three of these dyes contain benzidine which is a known carcinogen (cancer causing agent), yet many companies, without any regard for you or your health, continue to add them to your food and supplements.

It’s obvious that artificial colours are not going to help the way you look, feel and function, but more importantly they may actually slow your progress and cause additional health problems.

Most people think… “they won’t affect me. Those issues only happen to OTHER people!!”

sola dosis facit venenum – the dose makes the poison

Artificial colours are affecting everyday people everyday. More than two thirds of parents have noticed abnormal behaviour in their children after consuming these chemicals. It would be remiss to think that only children are at risk of harm.


Avoid any products that contain artificial colours… SIMPLE!!

The SWITCH NUTRITION range contains ZERO added colours, preservatives or sweeteners. We personally use and recommend all our own products and we wouldn’t want to risk consuming these chemicals as part of our regular routine. This is why toxic additives and fillers are not found in any of our products.

The human body is awesome but it’s not infallible. There is too much to risk by including these chemicals in your daily regime (maybe even multiple times a day) when they can easily be avoided.

Start reading the labels of your products because there are now supplements available that will work just as well, if not better than those brightly coloured powders and drinks.

For further reading on research highlighting the toxicity of artificial colours please follow the link below, published by the Center For Science In The Public Interest – Food Dyes: A rainbow of risk


Disclaimer: The above article is merely a guide and is in no way a recommendation or a treatment protocol for any health conditions or diseases. You should always consult with a qualified health care provider before changing your supplement, training or nutritional strategy. Supplementation should not be attempted by pregnant or breastfeeding women, anyone on prescription medication or children under the age of 15 unless advised by your qualified health care provider.