Find out if the sulphur in your sugar makes you sick
Most of us cannot do without consuming sugar each day, but need you know that excess sugar consumption is not only bad for your waistline, but for your respiratory system as well.
Our hectic lifestyles, increased levels of stress and less me-time has changed our eating habits as well. Ready-to-eat food packs or fast food often come to our rescue pretty frequently. It is vital that we eat the right mix of healthy food and be conscious of what we are consuming. Most processed foods have made chemical additives a significant part of our diet. It is imperative to know the constituents of what we are eating so that we make an informed choice.
Our eating habits do allow various harmful chemicals to enter into our body and one of them is sulphur dioxide. The consumption of sulphur has multiple ill-effects on our health and mostly, sulphur is indirectly consumed through food.
Ill-effects of sulphur on our body
Sulphur dioxide can lead to bronchoconstriction (the narrowing of the airways in the lungs). All the respiratory passages, from the nose to the terminal bronchioles are kept moist by a layer of mucus that coats the entire surface. The process by which the mucus is transported from the lung is known as mucociliary transport. Several bronchial disorders including bronchial asthma and cystic fibrosis are associated with an impairment in mucociliary clearances and consumption of food containing sulphur dioxide are basically responsible for inhibiting mucociliary function.
The formation of acid due to the presence of sulfur dioxide also increases the viscosity of cough. As a result, it becomes very difficult for asthmatic patients to expel the cough produced in the air passage.
Air flow in air passages can get restricted due to factors like:
• An inflammation or excessive production of mucus due to an allergic reaction
• Irritation caused by mechanical friction of air
Sulphur dioxide is considered an allergen and can cause reactions in certain people, especially those sensitive to asthma.
Food products with sulphur content
Sulphur dioxide is permitted in a wide range of foods including dried fruits, breakfast sausages, sugar and burger meats. Sulphur dioxide is also used as a preservative for food products to extend their shelf life and to prevent growth of undesirable microorganisms. It is also used as an agent in the preservation of browning reaction of food products.
Sulphur normally exists in sugar and food products containing sugar in the form of sulphur dioxide. Most of the loose sugar we get has not been refined using a sulphur-free process. The more the sulphur dioxide content in sugar or food products containing sugar, the more is the risk of inhibition of mucociliary function causing bronchoconstriction. To live a healthy life, we should avoid food with sulphur content. Always buy sugar refined using a sulphur-free process so that you are assured that it is safe to consume. Check food labels before you buy any confectionary.