No Evidence BVO is Dangerous
It’s found in some Gatorade drinks as well as Powerade, Fresca, Mountain Dew and Amp Energy Drink. Brominated vegetable oil is an additive used to stop separation in some drinks and stop them from becoming cloudy, but one Mississippi teen wants to stop cola companies from using it.
Sarah Kavanagh has started an online petition calling on PepsiCo to stop using the ingredient. BVO is already banned in Japan and much of Europe but is perfectly legal here in Canada and in the U.S.
Health Canada says there are no health risks associated with brominated vegetable oil and it is not reconsidering its approval.
A study by the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany states that after consuming several drinks containing BVO daily, some subject reported symptoms of memory loss, fatigue, headache and even loss of muscle co-ordination.
However Newstalk 1010’s Medical Correspondent Dr. Mitch Shulman says there is no evidence to prove that brominated vegetable oil is unsafe.
“There’s nothing that I’m aware of that indicates there is a definite danger. The substance has been around for a while and we have a lot of experience with it. If there was a danger I would hope that we would have seen it.”said Dr. Shulman.
But Dr. Shulman stresses that more studies into the effects of BVO should be done, and cola companies should really reconsider whether the additive is necessary.
As for some of the symptoms experienced by the people in the study out of Germany, Dr. Shulman stresses that some of these symptoms could have simply been caused by consuming too many of the drinks.
“You have to be careful about what is it actually in these drinks that cause the problem. And everything is a question of moderation or amount. I can take water and prove that water is dangerous for you if I force you to drink enough of it. And we’ve seen it with athletes who’ve actually dropped dead as a result of what we call hyponatremia. They drank too much water as they were sweating during a marathon and dropped the concentration of sodium in their blood and had seizures and died.”Dr. Shulman said.
In the end, Dr. Shulman says it’s all about moderation and knowledge of the product you are consuming.