Asthma, Hives, Yellow #5 (tartrazine), and Halloween Treats

Beware of Yellow 5 smalerIt’s October and the Halloween cookies, candies, and cupcakes are out.  What gives Halloween treats that glow-in-the-dark yellow or orange color?  Yellow #5!  If you’re sensitive to this food color, it could exacerbate your asthma, eczema, and hives anytime you ingest it.  And it’s in nearly every bright-colored Halloween-themed treat.  So beware, and read food labels if you’re prone to asthma, eczema, and hives, and don’t eat anything with yellow #5.   By law, yellow #5 is supposed to be listed as an ingredient in the U.S. on any packaged food product.

I’ve always wondered if there are more visits to doctors and the ER for asthma and hives attacks during the month of October.  I discovered my own sensitivity to yellow #5 one October years ago when I started munching on some Reese’s Pieces, and broke out in whole body hives within 10 minutes.  Strangely, I’d eaten Reese’s cups the day before with no problem, and had the wrapper available to compare the ingredients between the two products.  The ONLY difference?  Yellow #5!

I wish they’d ban the food color entirely, and in fact, some other countries have.  But here in the USA, yellow #5 is everywhere.  Lucky us.  Wishing everyone a safe, hive-free Halloween!

More info on asthma’s correlation with low thyroid levels.

More info on yellow #5 or tartrazine.


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