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Do you react to preservatives such as Sodium Metabisulfate/Sodium Benzoate?

by (5160)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:54 PM
Created September 26, 2012 at 9:38 AM

No idea bout SB, but I'm 100% sure I react negatively to Sodium Metabisulfite. I purchased some coconut milk with it by accident, consumed it and experienced what felt like the 2nd worst nausea I ever felt. I just felt like I was smacked with the flu for about 6 hours and I walked around groaning and yelling at the kids and laying down on the couch.

The weird thing is that I've never really noticed any negative reaction even to chemical preservatives in food. But something about the Sodium Metabisulfite makes me react and I've read some anecdotes online as well.

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997 · September 27, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Yeah, MathGirl, if you read the info at that link you will see the longer explanation. "Sulfites are counted among the top nine food allergens, but a reaction to sulfite is not a true allergy.[9]" but it's classified that way to help the general public understand that "Regardless, a sulphite-sensitive person may experience the same life-threatening symptoms during a reaction to sulphites as occurs during an allergic reaction."

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5160 · September 26, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Not sure why, but different brands of coconut milk taste different. Thai Kitchen tastes great. but some of the generic Sodium-Metabisulfite-containing brands taste foul.

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11048 · September 26, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Sensitivity =/= allergy.

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5 Answers

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41312 · September 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Nope. Now I wonder if this is a good or bad thing from a evolutionary biology point of view... a strong healthy gut or a lazy immune system?

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398 · February 12, 2013 at 5:41 AM

Sodium metabisulfite gives me asthma. I discovered it one night checking labels when I had a bad attack during a meal. It turned out they were present both the can of tomatoes and the "Real Lemon" lemon juice that I added in preparing the soup.

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997 · September 26, 2012 at 1:25 PM

ugh, just thinking about sulfites makes my stomach do a few flips. I can totally sympathize and the last time I did it to myself was overdoing some canned coconut milk like you did. If I cook with it and am only going to take in a small amount, I can be ok but not like a whole smoothie or something. Trader Joe's Lite coconut milk is sulfite free. and Aroy-D has some in a Tetra Pak (BPA free!) that's awesome but hard for me to get. Some Aroy-D canned is free of sulfites but read the labels because some of theirs isn't. Natural Value has some that's sulfite free I think and also guar gum free. It's also hard for me to find but if you find some let me know, please. This sensitivity really keeps my binge drinking to a minimum too since it's in red wines and ciders usually.

Sulfite sensitivityoccurs in about 1 out of 100 people. hmmm, sulfite`s a top allergen but not a "true allergy"

Sodium benzoate doesn`t get to me too much but I do try to avoid it. It sends my 10 yr old bouncing off the walls. I mostly get it in things like chili sauces and since I'm only using a small amount I don't really notice it.

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720
997 · September 27, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Yeah, MathGirl, if you read the info at that link you will see the longer explanation. "Sulfites are counted among the top nine food allergens, but a reaction to sulfite is not a true allergy.[9]" but it's classified that way to help the general public understand that "Regardless, a sulphite-sensitive person may experience the same life-threatening symptoms during a reaction to sulphites as occurs during an allergic reaction."

0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79
5160 · September 26, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Not sure why, but different brands of coconut milk taste different. Thai Kitchen tastes great. but some of the generic Sodium-Metabisulfite-containing brands taste foul.

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11048 · September 26, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Sensitivity =/= allergy.

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2004 · September 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Definitely yes - especially Sodium Benzoate. In food, in medicins and in cosmetics.

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2688 · October 10, 2012 at 6:06 PM

Sodium and Potassium Benzoate are actually carcinogenic in the presence of vitamin C. I remember reading that benzene, a well known carcinogen, will be formed under these conditions. If you supplement vit C at all avoiding benzoates can quite literally be a matter of life and death.

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