Food Additives and Contaminants, 1996. Jan;13(1):5-11
In this lab study, 11 artificial food dyes – not all of them used in the US — were tested to determine their effect on the mitochondria of rat liver and kidney.
NOTE: Mitochondria are the “energy factories” of a cell.
All the dyes inhibited mitochondrial respiration, although the inhibition varied largely, e.g. from 100% to 16%.
The effect was dose related, and the same in both liver and kidney cells. Red 3 (erythrosine) showed the strongest inhibition.