Red 40 Linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Researchers in Canada report that an artificial food coloring made from petroleum, Red 40, may damage the intestinal lining and cause inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis.  Red 40 is used in candy, soda, and chips (Doritos and Pepsi), as well as baked goods.

The researchers gave mice Red 40 in their food for 12 weeks.

Results: mice fed Red 40 experienced mild colitis (inflammation in the colon); animals that already had colitis had worsening symptoms.

This research confirms a study published last year, which reported that Red 40 and Yellow 6 caused inflammatory bowel disease when the immune system is dysregulated; animals with normal immune function did NOT develop inflammatory bowel disease when exposed to Red 40.