The problem with most products on the market today is that the long term effects of their ingredients are unknown. Case in point, soda pop. Many brands of soda pop contain an ingredient called Sodium Benzoate. Derived from benzoic acid, which is found naturally in many berries, it’s used to prevent mold in soda pop. Seems harmless enough and it is a “natural ingredient” that has been used for years. But here’s the problem, the long term effects are unknown. A recent study indicates that it might kill an important part of your cells. Without this part (the mitochondria), all sorts of problems can happen.
So what does this mean? Should I give up soda pop (and pickles, and other products with the ingredient). I’m not going to, but not because I’m afraid of the possible effects. In small doses, the body can handle many different toxins. The important thing is to monitor what you are eating, understand the ingredients and don’t limit your diet. If I worried about everything that could possibly kill me in the long run, I wouldn’t be eating anything.
That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to pay attention to the research. If there are indications that Sodium Benzoate, even in small doses is dangerous, I’ll take it out of my diet. The important thing is to be educated about what you are eating.