Last week I posted a link to a thread where people talked about their troubles with canola oil. This comment caught my attention:
“In the UK, there are two methods of rapeseed oil production. One is cold-pressing, the other distillation. From information I have gleaned from the internet, the distillation route requires the use of UK-approved chemicals (food ingredients) E319, E320, E321 and E900 (from someone’s MSc or Doctorate thesis on Applied Chemistry). Since March 2015 when rapeseed oil first entered the UK food chain, I have been suffering tinnitus, headaches, depression, dizziness, epilepsy, asphyxiation and total collapse (and others). These are all internet-declared side-effects of E319. Unfortunately, E319 is emitted as a vapour from hot food that contains it. I suffer not only when I either eat food that contains it, but also when I inhale its emitted vapours. Despite removing E319 from my diet, I can not avoid this chemical as it is airborne.
The bases of information in this post no longer appear to be Google-search available … the thesis is no longer found via the keyword search that initially located it (by accident), as is the web site that listed the known E319 (and E320, E321 and E900) side-effects”
What I found interesting is that the reactions this person was having to these oil additives are very similar to reactions I have to vegetable oils in general.
The chemicals mentioned in the post are synthetic antioxidants. Until I read this comment I had not even heard of synthetic antioxidants before. I had of course read about antioxidants, which help cells stabilize from oxidation.
I don’t understand the chemistry of oxidation but it has to do with oxygen stealing electrons. This loss of electrons destabilizes cells which can lead to cell death if no new electrons are found to stabilize the situation in time. Plants and animals create antioxidants which have extra electrons for helping cells.
However artificially created antioxidants while having the appearance at first glance of extra electrons do not have the secondary chemical processes that real natural antioxidants do that allow cells to use them to truly stabilize oxidized cells. Essentially after donating electrons synthetic antioxidants become garbage cells that require the body to clean them up and cause more damage along the way. Sometimes more damage than the body can handle.
Synthetic antioxidants are not just used in processing canola oil. They are often used to extend the shelf life of many fats and oils including animal fats.
Although the fake antioxidants make products shelf stable, from what I have been reading, science has been showing that they actually cause cancer and exacerbate disease in the body. They can also provoke an allergic reaction in some people, and may trigger hyperactivity and other intolerances. There are serious concerns over carcinogenicity and estrogenic effects, enough that BHT was banned in Japan in 1958. Official committees of experts recommended that it be banned in the UK, however because of industry pressure it was not.
The synthetic antioxidants that people are having the most issues with are BHA: Butylated hydroxyanisole (E320)
BHT: Butylated hydroxytoluene (E321)
TBHQ: Tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (E319), Propyl gallate (E310), Octyl gallate (E311), Dodecyl gallate (E312).
They are usually used in concert with each other and other antioxidants to make them more effective, but no safety testing has been done on mixtures of these fake antioxidants.
Beyond fats these things can be found in chewing gum, nuts, instant potato products, butter and polyethylene food wraps. Also they are used in a wide range of ‘non food’ products that we come into contact with each day including cosmetics, toiletries, packaging and medicines.
Even more disturbing, fake antioxidants are frequently added to animal feed. Turkeys were specifically mentioned.
I am pretty sure natural flavors or flavoring can hide the presence of one or more of these fake antioxidants in food, but I have seen all of the chemical names listed on some ingredient lists by themselves sometimes. The FDA website is very difficult to navigate and my eyes cross reading it so I am unsure at this point what the labeling rules are regarding these chemicals. They obviously sometimes have to be listed on the label in the US but people who have problems with them have been complaining online that they find themselves becoming sick from foods that don’t list them.
My suspicion is that if a person has a problem with fats and oils there is a good chance these synthetics might be a culprit and it might help to look out for them in foods.
I will continue to research and learn more about these oil additives. If you have any information about them please feel free to comment or email me directly I would be very interested.
Websites I used for info in this post.