A couple of weeks ago, Christine (our wellness coach) and I attended one of Dr. Kharrazian’s courses. This particular seminar was about helping people heal from food sensitivities. One thing that I learned, which I feel needs to be shouted from the mountain-top, is that artificial food coloring can contribute to food sensitivities.
How do food sensitivities develop?
All foods have a protein structure. When you digest your food, enzymes break down those protein structures into amino acids.
If this fails to happen, your immune system will see an unbroken protein sequence and says “Hey! That’s not right! Let’s fight!”
Your immune system then carries around the protein sequence. It uses this to identify the food the next time it sees the same protein sequence, in order to mount an immune response. Now you have a food sensitivity.
How does food coloring contribute to this?
Food coloring blocks the enzyme from breaking down the protein structure into it’s amino acids, leaving an unbreakable protein sequence that can then be tagged by your immune system, thereby creating a sensitivity to that food.
Let’s take it a bit further. How could this potentially lead to autoimmunity?
Although this wasn’t a direct correlation made at the Kharrazian seminar, it makes sense that food coloring and its resultant food sensitivity could lead to autoimmunity by way of molecular mimicry. Molecular mimicry is a term used to describe how there are certain protein sequences that come from food, which have the same protein sequence as human tissue. One well-documented case of molecular mimicry is between gluten, the thyroid, and the cerebellum.
This means that if you immune system has tagged gluten, it’s common that it sees your thyroid as gluten and will attack it constantly. This molecular mimicry happens with several foods and body tissues. Food sensitivities may not cause anaphylaxis like a deadly peanut allergy, but they are nothing to toy with.
As a mom to three kids with a strong family history of autoimmune disease, I felt this information was of the utmost importance and I wanted to make sure to share the wealth!
Be well, everyone.