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Allura Red (also called FD&C Red 40 and Food Red 17), is a common ingredient in candies, soft drinks, dairy products and some cereals.
Long-term consumption of Allura Red food dye can be a potential trigger of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, says McMaster University’s Waliul Khan. Researchers using experimental animal models of IBD found that continual exposure to Allura Red AC harms gut health and promotes inflammation.
The dye directly disrupts gut barrier function and increases the production of serotonin, a hormone/neurotransmitter found in the gut, which subsequently alters gut microbiota composition leading to increased susceptibility to colitis.