Bromine is a toxic chemical that is extracted from sea water. It is added to a vegetable oil that is created from pressing vegetables, hence the name “Brominated Vegetable Oil” or BVO for short. While it is more commonly known for being a food additive, it can also be found in many other products.
Where can bromine be found?
- Bakery goods (used in flour as a “dough conditioner” called potassium bromate)
- Soft drinks (including Mountain Dew, Sun Drop, Squirt, Fresca, Powerade and other citrus-flavored sodas).
- Medication (some inhalers, nasal sprays, and oral sedatives)
- Hair dyes
- Fire retardants
- Plastics (cables, connectors, and plastic covers)
- Homes and Automobiles (carpets, upholstery, and paints)
- Hot tub and swimming pool treatments (as a bleaching and sanitizing agent)
BVO is banned as a food additive in more than 100 countries with the exception of the U.S. and Canada. It competes with iodine receptors in your body. This is an issue because iodine is essential for your body. Having elevated levels of bromine can be linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, hearing loss, hypothyroidism, and cancer.
There are a lot of articles talking about how BVO is found in Gatorade, which is owned by PepsiCo. Yes, BVO, used to be an ingredient in Gatorade. But, early this year, PepsiCo announced that they would remove BVO from their Gatorade drinks in response to customer concerns. They replaced it with sucrose acetate isobutyrate. With that said, they are still putting it in other citrus flavored drinks of theirs, like Mountain Dew.
*Please note that sucrose acetate isobutyrate and glycerol ester of wood rosin are substitutes for BVO that are listed as generally safe to be used as a food additive.
Look here to view the importance of iodine. Please note that having low levels of iodine affects the thyroid, therefore it is especially crucial for people with hypothyroidism to be aware of this ingredient.
Look to here view the importance of reading and understanding the ingredients in our food.