Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Is Blue #2 Bad For You?

Also Known As: FD&C Blue #2, indigo carmine, indigotine



Short answer

FD&C Blue dye #2 (Indigo) is bad for you. All artificial colors add something negative to your body without providing any nutritional value.



Long answer

Artificial dyes are an unnecessary additive in foods.  They are added to food and beverages for the sole purpose of making them more aesthetically pleasing.  Artificial dyes have no nutritional value.  Over the years, the list of banned dyes has increased, as additional research studies continue to prove them to be dangerous.

Of the many Food, Drug, and Cosmetics (FD&C) dyes, Blue dye #2 is one considered among the least harmful, in comparison to reds, yellows, and other shades of blue.  The dye is used is many tasty treats, such as candy, cakes, and ice cream, as well as pet food, medications, and clothing. 

Blue dye #2 in not water-soluble.  Chemists often use alternative solvents, such as ethanol as a substitution.  Similar to other dyes, it has been heavily correlated with hyperactivity, especially in children.  Some highly regarded studies revealed it to have carcinogenic reactions in mice, though Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials, found the studies to be insignificant.  The FDA continues to justify the negative effects of artificial dyes on human health, in spite of numerous studies highlighting these effects.

A small percentage of people express an allergy to Blue dye #2 and experience symptoms, such as hives, asthma, skin rashes, and tumors.  Keep in mind, of the evil food dyes, this one is found to hold a much lower symptoms and consequence rate than other artificial dyes.

On the beneficial side, we can thank blue dye #2 for the invention of denim.  As a matter of a fact, Denim is the most well-known product associated with the artificial dye, along with many other pieces of clothing.  It is heavily present in dog food, even though most dog food is not blue.  Most dogs are not concerned with how “pretty” their food looks, so it is merely just another added chemical without purpose.

Possible short-term side effects

  • hyperactivity
  • hives
  • skin rashes
  • allergies

Possible long-term side effects

  • asthma
  • tumors

Commonly found in

  • soft drinks
  • candy
  • cereal
  • baked goods
  • frozen desserts
  • snack foods
  • confections
  • gelatin product
  • dog food
  • medications


  • more aesthetically pleasing products

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 02-18-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by DeeAnne Oldham
Published on: 02-18-2016
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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