T Nation

Artificial Additives and Preservatives


Just curious what you all really think about artificial Additives and Preservatives in our foods today.

Do you think they could possibly hurt us as time progresses?
Do you know of scientific evidence that even shows this?
What benefits do they have for us?

Ive heard alot of mixed concerns and comments about them, figured id go to my best resource and find out more.


I might get flamed for this, but I think artificial sweetners are bad. Maybe they won't kill us any earlier than if we avoided them all together, but the less toxins in our body, the better. Almost anything man-made and synthetic is worse than something that is natural. Yet, it is VERY hard to avoid all toxins (pollution in our air, for an example). There is so much crap in conventional foods these days, it's hard to avoid. I eat mostly organic foods. The food bill might be a bit higher, but I believe they are better for the body (much less toxins). For an example, a study was done and it showed that organic milk has 3 times the amount of lutein and zeaxanthin (both good for the eyes)than in conventional milk.

On the other hand, it is almost impossible to get 200+ grams of protein through organic foods, so a protein supplement is a must. I'll take the good with the bad.


In the overall scheme of things, I don't believe they are a big deal. There are far more productive things to focus one's energy on.


So which is better, man made sucralose, or wonderful hippy happy naturally occurring arsenic?

I know you said "almost" anything .. but it's flawed logic to assume that natural=good.


Eh, anyways. Half the shit i read about them being cancerous/giving tumors/etc. etc. seems a little odd. Mostly because the amount the subject was given is never there for me to see. I mean anything that is overdone is harmful! Give me apple juice all the time and ill end up with some problems.


I meant anything nutrition wise. Poison from a snake is natural, yet deadly. I didn't think someone would compare a sugar to a deadly substance.

Sea salt compared to table salt. Now, there is a comparison :slight_smile: Which would you rather take?


Table salt is purer.


One organization suggests that food coloring, artificial flavoring, and preservatives are largely responsible for "ADHD" in kids today. I believe there is some truth in the statement. When I started eating healthy I began to have much more energy than I used to.


I don't think you'll die from eating supermarket breads, etc. But I have recently started buying what I can at a local organic food store--bread, sauces, soups, veggies. For one thing, I'd rather give them the money than a chain grocery store. Also, I just can't believe how much better the food tastes; I feel like I haven't really eaten bread or soup before! It's only been a few weeks now so I can't say I have more energy, but I am optimistic.


I've been eating organic foods for good time now and I exercise(duh) a lot. Yes,our world is full of toxins,but exercising helps your liver get rid of them,and eating healthy.A company I know have makes an all natural whey protein drink,nothing fake in it.I drink that and feel great.I haven't been sick since I was 16,so I must say that something is working.Yes,snake poison is natural,but deadly.But snake poison was never meant to be food for our bodies.

Same thing with all these ingredients being put into our foods today."Yellow 6" and "High fructose corn syrup" and "Artificial flavors" weren't for our bodies to recognize.A little here and there won't hurt,but,on average,Americans consume over one thousand pounds of artficial flavors and sweeteners.I don't think our liver can handle all of that.


No, common table salt has been highly refined and the natural occurring minerals have been extracted.


Got a link??

Also, I agree with what you and Captain Glanton have said.

For an example, Amy's organic pizza isn't bad at all. And it actually will satisfy your "craving" for pizza. When I go to Papa John's or Dominos and get their pizza, I keep eating it, even though I'm full. It's like there is a chemical in there that is making my body want more (physically addicting).


Yeah ive noticed that my energy levels have gigantic increases ever since proper exercise and better nutrition set in. Its interesting since Ive been trying to focus on organic and avoid artifical(although its damn near impossible...well, very hard for the least)


It's funny that you said that because some food companies have actually been taken to court for putting ingredients in the food that makes you crave more of it.I know,it's sad,but it's America-land of the fat.


Sorry,but I can't send you a link right now because my toolbar is down.Do a search on "ON's all natural whey protein(GNC sells this too) and "All natural whey healthier".


I agree. I still think there are certain things in the food that make you want to keep eating more. Isn't there a commercial for some potato chip that says, "I bet you can't just eat one." LOL

Also, thanks for pointing out ON's natural whey. I've seen it before, but never really thought about it. I just thought it was a "neutral" flavoring.


Exactly my point, it is PURER.

Secondly, it has more iodine which is a plus for table salt.

Come one, you have to defend ''natural things'' with at least some rationality.

The only thing anybody should want in their salt is NaCl and Iodine.

Besides extraction of sea salt and manufacturing process is not a ''natural'' thing.



Extracted in this term means that they have been TAKEN OUT! Taking out natural minerals is bad, mkay?

There are lots of foods with iodine in it. Also, too much iodine is bad.

Here is a little article that you might be interested in:


I'm sure you can Google sea salt and see the many benefits it has over refined salt. Next you'll tell me that refined sugar is better evaporated cane juice (known as unrefined sugar). Do a google search and see what the benefits of evaporated cane juice are.


Here's something to consider.

Asorbic acid is asorbic acid. It doesnt matter if it was made in a lab or in an orange, it is the same damn thing. If the orange has a solvent or whatnot, maybe eating the orange provides a better way for the body to get it. The acutal compounds dont change.

Given the money, pretty anything you talked about as good can easily be replicated in the lab. It would a painstaking process, but you could recreate all the factors in the way they are present.

Artificial sweetners dont exist in nature. We aren't copying anthing, which is the point. The natural alternatives may be an influence, but there is a reason things are done these ways.

For example, a diabetic can have things sweetened by sorbitol or even fructose under careful guidance. So is unrefined cane sugar better in this case?

In many cases things we have messed with are "worse". Foods have eons of evolution on their side. If shit doesnt work right, plants dont get distributed well, herbivores run through the food supply, all while The View is being put on non-stop loops on every channel. (i.e. chaos and doom)

A lot of the main reason we process things is cost. Also, many foods would turn rancid very easily. Hell, Oats spoil extremely fast and must be processed in some way for them to be edible a short time later. But if you label them "organic", now they are "natural" and thus, "better".

Do your homework, and eat what fits your needs.


Wow...eh no offense but WOW.

At least have the decency to put something up which at least as a modicum authority, I don't know, emedicine.com, NIH sites, FDA, stuff on PubMed, whatever.

I mean, somthing that opens with:
Excess consumption of refined, iodized salt is one of the major causes of hyperthyroidism and it?s a well-known trigger for Graves? disease.

Its just purely laughable.

This is a reference to the Jod-Basedow Phenomenon, which is not linked to Graves' disease. Damn, GD is from diffuse goiter with immunological etiologies (as far as we know), JBP has underlying NODULAR goiter and usually happens in response to treatement of hypothyroidism where newly available iodine induces increased secretion of hormone. Generaly this is from iodine supplementation, medication containing iodide or imaging contrasts.

Its good to be aware of some of the bad things in our environement but to blindly believe that everything directly coming out of it as all good is pure idiocy.

Considering all the polluants we dump in our environment, I am not sure that taking out minerals is a bad thing.

As for the evaporated cane juice, maybe you should have used honey in your example because I found no respectable site whatsoever that had any form of evidence showing health benefits over white sugar, which last time I check were both just sucrose.

The only thing I found was on World's Healthiest Foods which is far from being a reputable source (it was founded by a guy who had one of the first convienient health food company in the 1970s) show a 9.4% B12 content for a 25g intake vs X% for white sugar (I didn't look it up, considering that we already get far more B12 that we need).

I mean damn, its the same high glycemic sucrose with a pinch of B12, at least honey has some antioxydants that it can boost of with some research behind it.

Next time, choose better example.

Hey, I'm not against natural stuff, just make sure you don't fall for the same crap everybody else is falling for.

We might think that natural is hetter, but that is not always the case. Just take the artificial sweetners like aspartame, people believe for some reasons that its evil incarnate but with close to 5 decades of research on it in many countries we still can't find a problem with it if you don't suffer from phenylketonuria.

On the other hand, free-grazing, ranging animals have better omega-3 to saturated fats ratios. Now here you see benefits of ''natural'' vs industrial.

Just like everthing else, it is important to seperate the good stuff from the crap.