NORMAN — Q: I’ve heard about Brominated vegetable oil recently. Could you provide some more information?
A: Brominated vegetable oil, also called BVO, is a food additive that is often used to keep citrus flavor emulsified in sodas and sports drinks, such as Fanta, Mountain Dew and Gatorade.
The use of BVO as a food additive has been banned in Europe and Japan but not in the United States.
Currently, the FDA allows BVO to be used as a food additive under certain specifications, as only a few studies have tested possible safety issues. It appears that since BVO contains Bromine, an element found in Brominated flame retardants, there is a buildup of bromine in the body.
There have been reports of the possibility of some beverage manufacturers taking BVO out of their products due to potential health concerns, such as memory loss, skin and nerve problems after consuming excessive amounts of soda containing BVO.
For nutritional counseling, Norman Regional Health System offers the guidance of registered dietitians. Those interested can schedule an appointment for an assessment with a referral from their family physician.
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