As I was watching Dr. Oz today I was made aware of something shocking. Typically, I try to keep my soda and sports drinks down to a minimum but sometimes you just get a craving. My kids love orange soda which come to find out, along with many other drinks have something called Brominated Vegetable Oil or BVO as a key ingredient to help keep the drink from separating.
According to Dr. Oz, over 100 countries have banned this product from drinks because Bromine is a flame retardant. 45 years ago BVO was taken off the safe list of known ingredients by the FDA and placed on an list defined as interim food additives. This allows companies to still use BVO but keeps the FDA from having to investigate further on BVO and creates a loop hole for regulations to allow it’s use.
Health risks of BVO are unclear because the testing has been limited but here is what has been found so far:
“Excessive consumption that has been associated with adverse health effects. In one case, a man who drank eight liters of Ruby-Red Squirt daily had a reaction that caused his skin color to turn red and produced lesions diagnosed as bromoderma.
The excessive quantities together with the fact that the man had a higher than normal sensitivity to bromine made this an unusual case. A similar case reported that a man who consumed two to four liters of a cola containing BVO on a daily basis experienced memory loss, tremors, fatigue, loss of muscle coordination, headache, and ptosis of the right eyelid, as well as elevated serum chloride.
In the two months it took to correctly diagnose the problem, the patient also lost the ability to walk. Eventually, bromism was diagnosed and hemodialysis was prescribed which resulted in a reversal of the disorder.”
Video Gamers and young adults are at highest risk of health concerns because of their over indigence of these particular beverages that help keep them awake longer.
The U.S. and Canada currently uses BVO in:
Gatorade , Mountain Dew made by Pepsi Co.
Powerade, Fanta Orange, Fresca made by Coca-Cola
Squirt, Sunkist Peach Soda, made by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Dr. Oz also invited Sarah Kavanagh a high school girl to the show because when she learned about BVO she contacted Gatorade and asked them to change their drink. She like many of use thought that Orage Gatorade was a drink that was good for you in moderation. Sarah created a petition online at change.org/gatorade she has since accumulated over 200,000 signatures and has still not recived a proper reply from Prepsi Co saying that they plan to make any changes to Gatorade.
In Japan and Europe BVO is banned and companies have successfully found a safe way to keep drinks from separating to keep the color pleasing to the consumer. These ingediants that are being used in other counties can just as easily be used here if the FDA were to restrict the use of BVO.
BVO does not sound like something I want to willing put into my body and I would strongly recommend that before you give into your latest soda craving your turn it over and read the list of ingredients before consuming!
The FDA and Other Companies did reply to the Dr. Oz show and released several statements that can be found online on Dr. Oz’s website!