Brominated vegetable oil (BVO). This type of oil is found in nearly 10 percent of soda products, especially the citrus flavored sodas.
BVO is also found in certain pesticides, bakery goods, sports drinks (e.g., Gatorade), flame retardants and plastic used in electronics. In the beginning of 2013, PepsiCo Inc. announced that it was planning to remove brominated vegetable oil from Gatorade. Let us hope Pepsi is committed to this announcement.
What is brominated vegetable oil (BVO)?
Brominated vegetable oil is processed vegetable oil that is treated with bromine. It is often derived from corn or soy. In certain flavored drinks, bromine combined with vegetable oil is used to prevent the flavoring in drinks from floating to the surface. Bromine is a naturally occurring element that is commonly found in bromide salt and sea water. When isolated, it can become very toxic to the human body.
The isolated version of bromine that is used in some flavored drinks is liquid in appearance and has a brownish-red color. This version of bromine evaporates easily at room temperature and is toxic when inhaled or ingested. Bromine has been linked to neurological disorders, organ damage and cancer. This element is also found in fire extinguishers and certain pharmaceuticals, dyes, flameproofing agents and some water purification compounds.
Side effects of brominated vegetable oil
Brominated vegetable oil or BVO has been linked to some serious diseases. Some of the common side effects of brominated vegetable oil are neurological impairment, thyroid problems, fertility issues and psychological symptoms. When the bromine in vegetable oil gets inside the body, it can displace iodine and therefore increase the risk of iodine deficiency. The lack of iodine has been linked to an increased risk of breast, ovary and prostate cancer, and low thyroid. It can also increase the risk of diabetes and obesity.
Here is an excerpt from ScientificAmerican.com about the side effects of brominated vegetable oil.
In 1997, emergency room doctors at University of California, Davis reported a patient with severe bromine intoxication from drinking two to four liters of orange soda every day. He developed headaches, fatigue, ataxia (loss of muscle coordination) and memory loss.
In a 2003 case reported in Ohio, a 63-year-old man developed ulcers on his swollen hands after drinking eight liters of Red Rudy Squirt every day for several months. The man was diagnosed with bromoderma, a rare skin hypersensitivity to bromine exposure. The patient quit drinking the brominated soft drink and months later recovered.
Commons symptoms of brominated vegetable oil toxicity
- Memory loss
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Skin rashes and severe acne
- Thyroid and reproduction problems
- Neurological issues
- Behavior problems
Brominated vegetable oil dangers
One of the main dangers of brominated vegetable oil is genetically modified organism (GMO). Most BVOs in the United States are made from corn and soy, which are the top genetically modified food in the US. GMO is one of the most dangerous foods to your health because it has the ability to damage your DNA, causing all sorts of chronic health problems. The dangers in brominated vegetable oil are the reasons why Europe, India and Japan have banned it as a food additive for soft drinks.
Another brominated vegetable oil danger is that it can increase the risk of neurodegenerative disease. High levels of BVO is very toxic to the nervous system, which is why many researchers believe it may cause neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Alexander disease. Furthermore, BVO can increase the risk of cancer, obesity, autoimmune disorders and diabetes.