The first thing that pops on your mind when you hear or read about antifreeze is that has to do with car engines. There couldn’t possibly be a link between this toxic substance and the food we eat, could it? What if we told you that antifreeze and let’s say fries have a common denominator? You think we’ll talking nonsense but they both have one common ingredient – propylene glycol.
Propylene glycol is the ‘anti’ in ‘antifreeze.’ It does the same thing in food, cosmetics and medication that it does in your car– retain moisture while preventing freezing.
According to the FDA and CDC small amounts of the chemical are not dangerous for humans. That’s why you can find it in all sorts of products from fries, iced tea, ice cream and boxed cakes to anxiety-reducing medications and shampoos. But only in the US though, a number of European governments have banned it completely from usage in food production. Is there something they know that the Americans are unaware of?
It turns out that there’s a lot that we don’t know, or at least our government doesn’t want us to find out.
According to the CDC’s report on propylene glycol it poses no major health concerns. And yet that same report also says that:
No studies were located regarding respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, hepatic, renal, endocrine, dermal, ocular or body weight effects.
This actually says that there hasn’t been much research into how this chemical actually affects our health, and as a result the CDC says it’s OK to use it in food. But there’s so much we know about this chemical and its negative effects on our overall health.
Negative Health Effects Of Propylene Glycol
It May Damage Your Kidneys And Liver
Propylene glycol can be found in a number of IV medications, among which the anxiety treatment drug Lorazepam. According to researchers people who use this medication on the long-run experience kidney malfunction. In time, this vital organ stops processing compounds at its normal rate. Studies also indicate that propylene glycol can be dangerous for people with liver issues.
It’s Dangerous For Infants
Those who say that propylene glycol is safe for consumption say that because the human body metabolizes it quickly it doesn’t stay in our system long enough to cause any damage. Which isn’t quite true.
Adults metabolize propylene glycol pretty quickly but it still manages to do its fair amount of damage before exiting your body. The damage is even bigger in infants whose bodies don’t metabolize propylene glycol quickly.
It May Cause An Allergic Reaction
Propylene glycol can be found in corticosteroids, a group of anti-inflammatory drugs. According to one study this can lead to “an often unrecognized cause of allergic contact dermatitis.”
To say it more bluntly, your brief allergic reaction from some drug could be the result of propylene glycol in that same drug. This just further proves our point!
It Can Cause Mental Illness
E-cigarette fluid also contains this dangerous substance and researchers warn e-cigarette users to be vary about what they use. Another thing they should be worried about is the fact that it has been linked to a number of mental issues like:
- Behavioral changers
- Ataxia (in extreme cases)
Knowing all that we know, how can we still put it in our bodies? It doesn’t make any sense!
How To Avoid Propylene Glycol
It’s not that easy to stay away from this chemical because it’s everywhere around us. Just looking for propylene glycol on the label doesn’t do the trick because it can go by these names as well:
- A-Propylene Glycol
- Methylethylene glycol
When you buy some of the following items make sure they don’t contain any of the abovementioned ingredients.
- Body wash
- Skin cream
- Baby wipes
- Salad dressing
- Frozen dessert
- Flavored coffee
You should talk to your doctor about any medications you’re taking and if they contain this dangerous substance. One thing is for sure, you should avoid it at all costs if you want to stay healthy!