Pestana 2010: Safety of ingestion of yellow tartrazine by double-blind placebo contgrolled challenge in 26 atopic adults.

Pestana-28559859Allergologie et Immunopathologia (Madrid). 2010 May-June; 38 (3): 142-6.

In this study, styling itself as a “gold standard, double-blind placebo controlled, crossed-over challenge,” 26 adults with atopy (skin or asthma allergy) were tested for tartrazine (Yellow 5) sensitivity and had no problem.

QUOTE:  “tartrazine was no more likely than placebo to cause adverse reactions in a group of 26 Brazilian atopic adults with asthma, allergic rhinitis, urticaria or presenting
allergic or pseudoallergic reactions to ASA or NSAIDs.”

So Tartrazone / Yellow 5 is no problem, right?  Let’s look a bit further into this study.

  1. The subjects were not on a dye-free diet except for the day of the challenge each week when they were given 3 “dye-free” meals.
  2. The subjects were “allowed to maintain their regular medication” – and since 35 mg Yellow 5 is well within the expected usual exposure per day, their meds could be reasonably expected to block any reaction.
  3. Just to make sure, the 35 mg of Yellow 5 was not given all at once, but in small doses beginning an hour after the first meal.  The first dose was 5 mg, the second 10 mg and the third 20 mg.  These would be small doses even for children.

NOTE:  The authors claim no conflict of interest, but they do not reveal their funding source either.  Or could it be that being part of a federally funded university in Brazil, they were under any pressure to tailor their results to national policy?

NOTE:  A better conclusion for this study might be:    “Adults carefully maintaining their allergy medications can safely include a small to moderate amount of Tartrazine in their usual diet.”

In spite of the lovely double-blind design, this study is a candidate for inclusion in the upcoming section called How to Do a Really Bad Study. 

MedLine || Full Text || Get Password

This entry was posted in 2006-2010, Food Dyes, Research Studies. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *