Food chemicals are found in most processed foods in this modern society. While these chemicals may have been placed on the food for positive reasons, they can have negative effects on human health. Thousands of man-made chemicals are being added to human food supply in these modern times and even infants are not spared from being exposed to food chemicals every day. Naturally, the human body is not supposed to be exposed to large amounts of chemicals either through their surrounding environment or through their food intake. Continuous exposure to harmful food chemicals may lead to serious health problems and various other side effects.
There are several side effects that may result from the constant exposure of chemicals mixed in food. Some of these side effects are extremely harmful. Below is a list of harmful side effects from food chemicals.


There are people who may suffer from headache and migraine due to intake of food that contains a particular type of food chemical. The food chemical may be naturally occuring or artificial. Examples of food chemical that may cause headaches to some people are those that contain caffeine and food additives or preservatives.

Body Tingling Sensation

In some instances, people who have sensitivities to particular types of food chemicals may experience feeling a tingling sensation on specific parts of the body. This may be caused by allergic reactions of the body to the food chemical. There is not enough evidence, though, that may point to food chemicals as the real culprit behind the tingling sensation.


Some studies have linked food chemicals such as food coloring and additives to the problem of hyperactivity in children and some young adults. There have been several studies done to track the link between food chemicals and hyperactivity as well as ADHD. So far, however, scientific evidences are still not enough to back findings that food additives indeed play a role in the occurrence of hyperactivity or ADHD in some children.

Immunological or Allergic Reactions

Some types of food chemicals are also believed to cause certain types of immunological or allergic reactions to some people. Allergies may include skin rashes, hives, and nasal congestion. Some people may also suffer from asthma because of certain types of food chemicals. All these, though, are still not backed by scientific results.


This is probably the worst that can result from the constant exposure of food chemicals. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the incidence of food chemical-induced cancer in children has risen to around 28% from 1950 to 1987. Studies done in the United States have associated carcinogenic food chemicals to the occurrence of cancer in most children. A study done by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have revealed that most dairy products as well as fruits, vegetables, meat and other farm produce are laden with certain types of chemicals such as pesticides, which are highly harmful to the human body.

Exacerbation of Existing Medical Conditions

Food chemicals may also exacerbate existing medical conditions. People who are sensitive or have allergic reactions to particular types of food chemical should watch what they eat as intake of food containing certain types of chemicals may only aggravate their medical condition. It may be advisable to ask the help of doctors with regards to proper diet. Ask the doctor about the types of food to avoid and which foods contain certain types of chemicals that may only make health conditions worse.

The ill effects of food chemicals can be avoided by eating chemical-free or organic food. To learn about the different benefits of eating only organic food, read What Can Organic Food Do for You?

Food Additives. Retrieved February 23, 2010 from EUFIC, The European Food Information Council
Headache and Diet. Retrieved February 23, 2010 from Better Health Channel

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The Writer Mom is a freelance writer and editor. She has provided high quality articles to clients from various countries around the globe. She has also provided proofreading/editing services to students, professors, publishers and businesses. She edits thesis, essays, manuscripts, ebooks, and any type of document for a fair price. Currently, she works as the Project Manager and Head Editor of Edit Write Services.

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