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Are you buying foods with propylene​ glycol and why you shouldn’t?

Propylene glycol is often called PG as an abbreviation for its original name. It’s a very common synthetic additive to foods. It has no odor, smell or taste making it very easy to add to just about anything. It is used to retain moisture in foods and it makes it easier to dissolve somethings than even water.

The US and some other countries have deemed propylene glycol safe to consume. However, propylene glycol is a key ingredient in anti-freeze. That is enough to send warning signals to everyone. The food industry loves this ingredient. It also helps to extend the shelf life which means more profits.

Why is propelene glycol bad?

To be quite honest, this ingredient is on the lower end of concerns as it relates to proven health issues. This is not to say however that it is harmless. The stated health issues resulting from propylene glycol are:

Eczema & Allergies

The use of propylene glycol can cause issues with eczema. Eczema is often tied to allergies and can cause very uncomfortable skin rashes and itching.

Toxicity

Several studies have been conducted by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Most conclude that propylene glycol poses minimal risk to humans. However, some possible issues were caused when propylene glycol was exposed to animals. Any possible risk will be compounded by exposure time.

How does it end up in the product?

Most times, this particular substance is being added to a product. This is because most manufacturers consider the substance to be relatively safe and acceptable to use. 

Where can propylene glycol be found?

Propylene glycol is a very common additive in food and can be found in the following:

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Salad dressings
  • Food dyes
  • Cake mixes
  • Sodas
  • Drugs
  • Cosmetics

How to recognize propylene glycol on a label

When looking for this ingredient on a label, it would be wise to look for the name or its abbreviation PG.

Finally

For now, the jury is out about propylene glycol. Most studies say it is safe, but our bodies will more reliably work well with products that are as close to nature and unaltered as possible. Commercial grade propylene glycol can be found in antifreeze, paints and other chemicals. That fact should make you a bit nervous.

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