Food Additives

Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Hi, I was wondering if anyone can recommend a good book on food additives and preservatives. What I am looking for is a dictionary type of book that lists the chemical eg. sodium nitrate or BHT and then describes why it is bad for you or something pretty similar. Thanks in advance, Kari

Jacqueline Krohn's book ALLERGY RELIEF AND PREVENTION has lots of organized information that may serve your needs. Nori

I believe the author's name is Ruth Winters but I am not positive. There are 2 books, the Dictionary of Food Additives, and the Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients. I got my copies a few years ago at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco. 415-863-9200. Maybe they can be found in the library? Amy

I sent your message about additives to my husband, who actually *takes* BHT as a supplement. Here's his explanation as to why:

Hi, Kari... It sounds like you're going into this assuming all food additives are bad. This isn't so. Neither are all natural things good for you, like hemlock.

BHT has never been found to have any bad effects at dosages of up to 1000mg/day, which is something on the order of 200x what most typical Americans get in their diet. I don't believe studies over this amount have been done.

There was a study once that appeared to show a link between BHT and cancer in rats, but it was later shown that the rats' food was contaminated, and that was the carcinogen source. Later studies actually showed a link between BHT and a reduction of cancer incidence because of its antioxidant effect.

Like other antioxidants, BHT also is effective at slowing the aging process (the degree of effectiveness depends on too many factors to discuss here).

Further, BHT is very effective against the various strains of herpes virus, including chicken pox and shingles. In some people, BHT can eliminate herpes symptoms all together.

Not all that is added is bad, not all that is natural is good. (references: The BHT Toxicology Report and Curing Herpes with BHT are available through the Cognitive Enhancement Research Institute at --Akien

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has reliable nutrition information. Their website, has a section where you can look up food additivies. Jennifer

For the person looking for a book about food additives, if you have a computer, you can go to this site: Ruth Winter wrote a dictionary of food additives and also one on cosmetic ingredients which I found helpful in my research. I got my copies at Rainbow General Store in S.F. Tel # 415-863-9200. They may or may not still carry them. Maybe they are even at the library? The website also tells you how to get them. Amy