Is the Brominated Vegetable Oil in Gatorade Really Bad For You?

BVOs have been banned in many counties, but not in the United States.
BVOs have been banned in many counties, but not in the United States. | Source

In recent weeks, brominated vegetable oil - or BVO - has made headlines. When a young vegan girl started an online petition, the internet community began talking about this substance. What is it? It is a food additive approved by the FDA that happens to also be a flame retardant. It has been linked to cancer as well as neurological disorders.

While the FDA claims it is safe, there have been reports of the side effects of extreme BVO consumption. For example, a man that consumed large amounts of soda with the substance in it for several weeks reported memory loss, tremors, headaches, fatigue and loss of muscle coordination.

Over 100 countries, including Japan, India and most of Europe, have already banned BVOs in food products.

BVO Featured on the Dr. Oz Show

On 1/30/2013, the problems with brominated vegetable oil were featured on the Dr. Oz Show. The segment featured a young teen who created an online petition to ban the ingredient after she had researched it.

According to Dr. Oz, brominated vegetable oil is unsafe for humans to consume under any condition. He claims it can lead to memory loss. He cautions people to avoid any substance that contains BOVs as they are harmful to your health.

You can watch a clip from the TODAY show below.

BVO Featured on the Dr. Oz Show

A case with Mountain Dew on display.
A case with Mountain Dew on display. | Source

Are you Worried about BVOs in your food?

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Which Drinks Contain BVO?

Gatorade is not the only drink you should avoid if you do not want to consume brominated vegetable oil. Many soft drinks also contain it. Drinks include Mountain Dew, Powerade, Fanta and Squirt.

When purchasing food and drink, it is important to check the labels carefully. This is the best way to avoid consuming food with harmful substances. If you do not know what an ingredient is, perform a search on it. It is a good idea to never purchase a food product that has an ingredient you are unaware of.

The Response so Far

PepsiCo, the maker of Mountain Dew and Gatorade, has agreed to replace the ingredient in their soft drinks, but it will not be an immediate change. Other companies simply have responded to the media with statements saying the FDA approves of the additive therefor they are going to continue to use it.

Because of this, as mentioned before, always check the labels of the foods you purchase if you are concerned about chemicals going into your body.

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