Epilepsy Talk

Toxic Chemicals Found In Health Foods, Vitamins, and Supplements | July 13, 2015

You eat healthy foods, take your vitamins, and supplements. And those of us who do are lured into thinking we’re doing what’s best for our bodies.

Or, at least we’re trying to.

Little do we know what’s lurks within those “healthy” products.

But before we talk about what’s in them, there are the nasty materials used for packaging.

Because chemicals in food packaging may be more widespread than environmental toxins.

Those bottles, boxes, cans, and plastic packaging materials could contribute as much as  100 times the amount of toxins you’d get from pesticides or other environmental chemicals, according to a 2006 European study published in the journal Food Science and Nutrition.

Just about all items commercially produced contain potentially harmful chemicals (and chemicals already outlawed in some countries)!

Here are some of the top polluting contenders (but not all of them) that could be hiding in your meals, vitamins and supplements.

Don’t be put off by their names which are nearly impossible to pronounce, no less understand.

I guess that’s why when you’re reading labels, it seems as if it’s in another language. A very opaque one.


Consuming acrylamides increases kidney cancer risk by 59%. This chemical is formed during cooking and processing of carbohydrates. So avoid all fried, roasted, or grilled snacks such as chips. You won’t find acrylamide in the ingredients list, because it’s not an actual ingredient. It’s formed during processing, so manufacturers do not have to put it on any label. Note: even organic chips contain these acrylamides.

Artificial Colors

These colors are added to food and supplements to make them more appealing. Many of the synthetic colorings are derived from coal tar which is used in paints and roofing. Artificial food colorings have been linked to many severe health issues such as autism, ADHD, birth defects, and cancer.


A bleaching agent used in packaged, processed foods like frozen dinners, pasta and flour mixes used for baked goods, this chemical has been linked to cancer risk and asthma.

Benzoate Preservatives, aka “BHT, BHA, TBHQ.”

These chemicals are used to help keep fats in foods from going rancid. They’ve been linked with serious concerns like increasing cancer risk, disrupting estrogen balance, asthma and hyperactivity. It can also be found hiding in cereal, nut mixes, gum, butter, meat, and dehydrated potatoes.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Used to harden plastics for water bottles, baby bottles, the lining of canned goods and many other products, BPA is the poster child for food-packaging scares. It leaches into water and food, and is detectable in the urine of 93% of U.S. adults, according to Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC) estimates. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) are funding $30 million in new research on its health effects.

Boric Acid

Boric acid is added to many supplements on the market. It can cause headaches, depression, inflammation, DNA damage, and birth defects.

Bromated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

This chemical enhances the bright colors in many bottled beverages like soda, sports drinks and citrus flavored drinks. BVO has been linked to increasing cholesterol levels, and can cause damage to vital organs including the liver and kidneys.


The Cornucopia Institute, a highly effective food activism group, recently published a warning about carrageenan in foods. Cornucopia says carrageenan is linked to gastrointestinal inflammation, including higher rates of colon cancer, in laboratory animals. Cornucopia urges anyone suffering from irritable bowel syndrome/IBS, spastic colon, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, etc. to consider completely eliminating carrageenan from their diet to determine if carrageenan is a contributing factor.

Fluoride in Green Tea

If you didn’t know it (I didn’t), green tea is famous for being contaminated with high levels of fluoride. A real catch-22, since green tea is phenomenally good for your health. The tea plant that produces green tea just happens to uptake a huge amount of fluoride from the soils. So when there’s fluoride present in those soils, the green tea will have a surprisingly high concentration.

Heavy Metals

Many protein shakes, detox products, supplements, cosmetics and processed foods contain heavy metals such as lead, arsenic fluoride and aluminum. Be extra careful if you’re buying herbs imported from China. They’re known to be contaminated with high levels of these heavy metals.

Hexane – Extracted Soy and Rice Proteins

Nearly all natural rice and soy proteins are extracted with a chemical called hexane which originates in China. It’s super polluting for the environment and a highly explosive chemical.

Hidden MSG / Yeast Extract

Hidden MSG is a huge issue across the natural products industry. Pick up almost any veggie burger, and you’ll find it’s made with yeast extract, a hidden form of MSG (monosodium glutamate).

Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogenated oils are packed with trans fats and unstable. They increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and nerve damage. They’re often used as a filler in many mineral and vitamin supplements or added to health foods.

Inorganic Minerals

Most cheap vitamins on the market are loaded with iron, lead, and barium. So better get your essential organic minerals from plants instead of inorganic minerals made from rocks and seashells.

Invisible GMO Ingredients

Many ingredients found in supplements and food contain traces of GMO. So if you pick up a natural products or supplements, make sure to read the labels and scan for following ingredients: amino acids, aspartame, vitamin C, citric acid, maltodextrin, lactic acid, molasses, monosodium glutamate (MSG), high fructose corn syrup, yeast products, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, sucrose, flavorings, sodium ascorbate, ascorbic acid, and molasses.

Magnesium Stearate and Stearic Acid

Both are used as a lubricant in supplements to avoid the capsules from sticking together. These chemicals have also been linked to many health issues and also lower your immune system.

Sodium Benzoate and BHT

Sodium benzoate is often added to processed foods, soft drinks and supplements as a preservative. It can damage the structure of DNA and is classified as a carcinogenic.

Stearic Acid and Magnesium Stearate

Both are used as a lubricant in supplements to avoid the capsules from sticking together. These chemicals have also been linked to lower your immune system and many health issues.

It’s not too appetizing and actually, pretty disappointing. (At least to one who swears by her nutrients and supplements.)

Those in the know say always go for the “organic certified” instead of “natural” products.

Because manufacturers and producers can use toxins, chemicals and other harmful elements however they wish, without any regulation.

So the term “natural” means nothing.

Things are seldom what they seem.


To subscribe to Epilepsytalk.com and get the latest articles, simply go to the bottom box of the right column, enter your email address and click on “Follow.”


Other articles of interest:

Beyond BPA: Court Battle Reveals A Shift In Debate Over Plastic Safety


Knowing What’s in Your Supplements











  1. So what’s left to eat????


    Comment by Barbara B. — July 13, 2015 @ 11:45 AM

  2. Try to aim for organic food, at the very least.

    Here’s an article that may (or may not) help…

    Is it Organic?



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 13, 2015 @ 12:57 PM

  3. As a person who can and does have GRAND MAL SEIZURES FROM MSG & other MSG type additives in the foods, including ASPARTAME, I only eat the safe 5% of food that I can buy at ANY food store. Even 1/3rd to 50% of all ORGANIC FOODS have these glutamic chemicals in their foods, which to me does eliminate the terms ORGANIC or ALL NATURAL. Know this that ANY ASD/AED that has MAGNESIUM STEARATE or any other STEARATE WILL slow down the working gear of the digestive system to a 1st gear operating system or in NETURAL where everything stays in that digestive track from drugs, foods & drinks with STEARATES and for that happening, equals MORE SEIZURES IN YOUR LIFE. We can thank FDA, CDC, NIH & Drugs companies & CONGRESS for all this. EFA & CURE can be added to that list to for supporting them too. Example why is because of medical marijuana that NOBODY KNOWS the long term side effects on any human brain for any kid at any age or older adults using it for seizures stopping forever. I say just eat 5% of the foods that are safe and not any medical marijuana or other drugs will be needed. How I come to that is what I find in the BIBLE with MATTHEW 17:21 and MARK 9:29 from the best doctor & healer who ever lived & walked on this earth. My friend Jesus Christ knows what works and what does not. WARNING THOUGH,, You must be perfect with your fasting when you KNOW what causes your seizures. Don’t believe me, just read HIS word about the healing of seizures. Jesus never lied.


    Comment by James — July 13, 2015 @ 10:14 PM

  4. Thanks for your input James. I do agree with you on many fronts. (Except the EFA and CARE).

    You might find these articles interesting:

    The Scandal of Aspartame


    MSG: Dangerous or Deadly?



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 14, 2015 @ 9:30 AM

  5. This was very informative but at the same time upsetting to find out so many things we thought were okay for us to have a very dangerous if not fatal.


    Comment by Nancy Moniodes — October 28, 2016 @ 5:57 PM

  6. It IS very discouraging. Just when you thought you were safe…

    The same things goes for organic foods and all those natural edibles! 😦

    Is it Organic?



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — October 28, 2016 @ 6:25 PM

  7. is there any to avoid? some article mentions should not take wheat, oat, corn, soy, bean?


    Comment by Dixon Chen — March 29, 2017 @ 5:57 AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

    View Full Profile →

    Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive free notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 3,266 other subscribers
    Follow Epilepsy Talk on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: