What is Sodium Benzoate?
Sodium Benzoate is a food additive that is used as a preservative. You will find Sodium Benzoate in beverages, various foods, and condiments. Acidic products such as jellies, jams, and sauerkraut, as well as hot sauce and sodas are the most likely to have sodium Benzoate. Some manufacturers add Sodium Benzoate to health products and beauty products such as shampoo, mouthwash, deodorant , and body lotions, in order to prevent bacteria. Over-the-counter and prescription drugs such as cough syrups, pills, and topical medications may also contain sodium Benzoate
Sodium Benzoate is a sodium salt. It does occur in nature in very low levels. Examples of foods with these natural low levels are cinnamon, apples, plums, and berries.
Is it safe?
Doses of Sodium Benzoate that are used in foods and beverage are so low that they are considered to be safe. The FDA and the Canadian Health Protection Branch have both classified it as GRAS (generally recognized as safe).
A few people may be hypersensitive to this preservative, which may produce hives, asthmatic attacks, and other reactions.
The real problem is that Sodium Benzoate can mix with citric acid or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and form benzene. Benzene is considered to be carcinogenic or cancer producing and has been associated with leukemia and other blood cancers. From 2005-2007, the FDA conducted a study of fruit beverages and carbonated beverages that contained sodium Benzoate and vitamin C. Most beverages were found to have too low of a level to cause problems. Those that failed were reformulated.
Benzoate has been found to have some medicinal uses such as halting the progression of Parkinson's disease in mice, as an aid for schitzophrenia, and to treat hyperammonemia (excess ammonia in the blood)..
My overall position on added chemicals, manufactured food additives, in general, is that food ingredients that are NOT natural, therefore we should avoid them. I suggest that you and I take a 'better safe than sorry approach' regarding non-natural food additives.
TIP for avoiding Benzoate:
Should you decide to avoid sodium Benzoate, these tips may help.
Before you make up you mind and for more help on this issue,
please read: Sugar vs. Artificial Sweeteners and
Five Food Additives You Should Avoid.
My friend, thank you for reading. I wish you much success on your weight loss journey.