Whole Food. Real Food. Good Food.
July 8, 2013
I have a challenge for all of you today! That challenge is to rid your pantry and refrigerator of Sodium Benzoate. This chemical preservative is used to help inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus in acidic products. It’s the cheapest mold inhibitor on the market, which is why it is so often used. Acidic foods tend to grow bacteria, mold and yeast more easily than non-acidic foods, so the Sodium Benzoate extends the shelf life. It is widely used in foods, beverages, cosmetics, dental care products, and pharmaceuticals. I even found it in Hyland’s Homeopathic Cough syrup. It is also found in a lot of food in restaurants. For example, Subway’s jalapeños, pickles, banana peppers and teriyaki glaze use Sodium Benzoate as a preservative.
Sodium benzoate is considerably more toxic than either processed sugar or high fructose corn syrup. It may exacerbate asthma, hyperactive behavior (when consumed in products with certain food colorings), and cause skin rash upon contact. A study in 2007 indicated that it may cause serious cell damage associated with cirrhosis of the liver, aging, and Parkinson’s disease. In animal studies, there are reports of possible weight gain, liver and kidney issues, and birth defects. (Source)
This ingredient has been linked with creating free radicals in the body, destorying mitochondrial DNA, and thus adding to the body’s aging process. Readily absorbed by the skin, Sodium Benzoate’s presence in anti-aging products may, ironically, actually age you faster, by damaging your DNA.