Dr. Sunil - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Sunil

Is Red 40 Bad For You?

Also Known As: Allura Red AC, FD&C Red 40



Short answer

FD&C Red 40 is bad for you. It is linked to many health complaints that have erupted over the last half century.



Long answer

FD&C Red 40 is made from petroleum, which is FDA approved mind you. However, the use of this dye has increased 500% over the last 50 years. Since then, we have seen a huge increase in aggressions, A.D.D., A.D.H.D immune disorders and allergic reactions. Studies are showing the increase is linked to the amount of FD&C Red 40 being ingested daily. Red 40 is found in cosmetics, meats, and processed foods. The color is added to meats to achieve a nice bright "healthy" looking red product that is appealing to the customer. Without this red dye, meat would not appear to be bright red. Keep that in mind next time you buy meat.

The problem is the dye is such a small molecule that the body doesn't really detect it. These molecules attach themselves to food and protein molecules, which makes them directly digestible into the blood stream. The dye should actually be filtered out by one of the body's filter systems but it's not due to size.

Short-term side effects can be allergic reactions and skin rashes. Anytime you ingest something you are allergic to you risk allergic reactions. The issue here is normally, physicians will ask what you ate. Often time, no one looks at the dyes involved unless you go to an allergist. Since the dye is used in cosmetics, it gets absorbed into the skin. This can cause skin reactions such as rashes, blisters, redness, sensitivity and more. Aggression seems to also be reported by people reacting to this dye. The good news is once the dye is gone from the system, so is the aggressive behavior.

The longer term side effects include immune disorders, A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. Whenever the body absorbs something foreign, it self-causes inflammation, activating the immune system. This can lead to a slew of health issues with the immune system. A.D.D. and A.D.H.D. have been noted to have increased 41% in high school age boys in the last decade and is linked to this dye.

Possible short-term side effects

  • skin rash
  • swelling around the mouth
  • allergic reaction

Possible long-term side effects

  • immune disorders
  • a.d.d
  • a.d.h.d
  • cancer

Commonly found in

  • breakfast cereals
  • red / orange colored drinks
  • fruit snacks
  • yogurts
  • jams / jellies
  • candy
  • toaster tarts
  • maraschino cherries
  • cakes / pies


  • give many foods their red color

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Healthy Living 35
Published on: 12-29-2015
Last updated: 12-10-2016

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Healthy Living 35
Published on: 12-29-2015
Last updated: 12-10-2016

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