Last Update: February 5, 2020 at 10:58 am
Date: February 5th, 2020
By Dr Holly, heard Wednesdays at Noon PST on News for the Soul Radio
It is an ingredient used as a whitening agent in cereal flour and a dough conditioner used in bread. It increases the shelf life of bread and it makes it easier to work with and helps it rise. It is also used in yoga mats and flip flops to give them a spongy feel. But that doesn’t make it bad or toxic. So let’s take a look.
What does it do in our bodies? The WHO claims that it has a “low acute toxicity and does not cause skin, eye or respiratory tract irritation in experimental animals. … (However,) Repeated oral exposures resulted in the appearance of pyelonephritis with casts and crystallin deposits in renal tubuli in several species. .. [i]
The challenge with it is that when it is heated it breaks down into two by-products: semicarbazide and ethyl carbamate which can cause damage to the DNA and the immune cells in animal studies.[ii],[iii] if we look at just one of the by-products, the semicarbazide, may also form as a “reaction product of hypochlorite action on food additives.[iv]
Some suggest that it only posses a risk to plant workers where it is handled and inhaled.[v] They claim that the small amount in foods is not a risk factor.
So why is it bad for you? Some claim that it leads to asthma and/or other respiratory issues; that it can cause allergies; that it might be carcinogenic; increases gluten irritability; provokes skin issues; disrupts both immune and hormone function.[viii] [ix] And that it interferes with the immune lymphocyte cells. [x] That’s a lot of issues for one compound that can be easily replaced.
In order to really evaluate whether the “low doses” are really toxic, we need to look a few issues:
- EWG has identified over 500 foods that contain the compound including baby foods
- Restaurant chains including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Arbys, use it[xi]
- How much are you ingesting with all these products/doses?
- Who is regulating the amounts?
- Can the body eliminate it or is it accumulative?
- Does it interact with other nutrient compounds, food toxins, environmental toxins, heavy metal toxins, etc.
If, after doing the research, all of these countries have banned it’s use, why are we still using it?
The challenge with bread or gluten products is that the gluten is considered to be the culprit, when in fact, most of the time, it maybe the Monsanto glyphosate (kills the good bacteria; causes all kinds of other issues) or the azodicarbonamide (interfering with the immune system – and over 70% of it is in the gut)? Do they interact? Or, is there yet another compound that we should also be looking at it that is interfering with our ability to effectively digest bread/flour foods.
Why is it when people who have bread issues to try the bread in Europe – they never have a problem?
And the real questions becomes: are you willing to take the risk.
[ii] Hirakawa K, Midorikawa K, Oikawa S, Kawanishi S. Carcinogenic semicarbazide induces sequence-specific DNA damage through the generation of reactive oxygen species and the derived organic radicals. Mutat Res. 2003 Apr 20;536(1-2):91-101.
[iii] Vlastos D, Moshou H, Epeoglou K. Evaluation of genotoxic effects of semicarbazide on cultured human lymphocytes and rat bone marrow. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jan;48(1):209-14. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.10.002. Epub 2009 Oct 9.
 Hirakawa K, Midorikawa K, Oikawa S, Kawanishi S. Carcinogenic semicarbazide induces sequence-specific DNA damage through the generation of reactive oxygen species and the derived organic radicals. Mutat Res. 2003 Apr 20;536(1-2):91-101.
 Vlastos D, Moshou H, Epeoglou K. Evaluation of genotoxic effects of semicarbazide on cultured human lymphocytes and rat bone marrow. Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jan;48(1):209-14. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2009.10.002. Epub 2009 Oct 9.
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