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Phosphates May Make You Feel Lazy

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

food additives health risks

Story at-a-glance -

  • Phosphates, used to flavor and preserve foods and beverages in over 45 percent of grocery store items, have been found to reduce exercise capacity and skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism, essentially making you feel lazy
  • Although manufacturers are required to list the ingredient on the label, since phosphates have been deemed generally recognized as safe by the FDA, amounts in the food products are not required to be listed
  • Phosphates are found in foods traditionally considered low in phosphorus, such as flavored water and iced teas, and may be found on food labels under 10 different names
  • Eating processed foods, also high in phosphates, has been associated with a reduction in cognitive performance and depression; making changes toward eating a whole food diet slowly, one item at a time, may improve your results and your overall health over time

Many are aware processed foods contain a variety of food additives. You may assume those additives have been tested for safety and approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but this is not the case.

Although food manufacturers submit new additives to the FDA for review, the process takes years. In 1958, a loophole was created as Congress didn't want the FDA to waste time reviewing staple ingredients, like salt and vinegar. They added a category of generally recognized as safe (GRAS), under which no FDA review is required.


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