As many of you know, I am not a fan of artificial colorings in our food. Earlier this year I wrote a four-part series on these petroleum-based dyes and their effects on our health.
But these colorants are not just in processed food. The next time you are in a drug store or the drug aisle of a supermarket, notice the rainbow of colored over-the-counter pills, tablets and liquids. And I’ll bet that the next prescription the pharmacist fills for you is blue, yellow or green.
These dyes have been linked to Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Are we being visually tricked into ingesting harmful toxins? What’s wrong with white?
Thankfully, in some instances, better options exist.
Let’s discuss ibuprofen, a staple of all medicine cabinets. Leading national brands include Motrin and Advil. Basic Motrin is orange, thanks in part to its yellow #6. Flavored versions aimed at children are colored with red, blue and yellow dyes.
A slightly better option is Advil’s basic tablets or caplets. Their color is rust, achieved from synthetic iron oxide (not a dye). However, be aware that the myriad of other Advil products (i.e. Advil PM, Advil PM for Saturdays, Advil PM for Tuesdays in November, Advil Migraine if Your Last Name Starts With “E”) contain artificial colorants.
By far the best option I found was a store brand. The drug store chain CVS sells ibuprofen that is white and clearly labeled “dye-free.” I am not aware of a national brand that offers white ibuprofen.