Natural occurring chemicals in food

Most people with food intolerance are sensitive to more than one chemical which can be composed of both "natural" and "artificial" substances. Their effects depend on the combination and amount consumed in your daily diet.

Amines- arise because of protein breakdown and fermentation.

Foods-Amines are high in ripened fruit e.g. bananas, avocados and tomatoes, cheese, chocolate, wines, beer, yeast extracts and fish products.

Glutamate (MSG)- is an amino acid which is the building block for all proteins found naturally in foods. These amino acids help synthesise neurotransmitters which send chemical impulses from one neuron to another in the brain. They are normally involved in learning and memory, Foods- cheeses, tomatoes, mushrooms etc.

Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG, E620) can also be used as an additive to increase the flavour of soups, sauces, hydrolysed vegetable protein, gravies, seasonings, and many other foods.


Artificial preservatives and colourings in foods

Salicylate sensitive individuals also tend to have adverse reactions to benzoates and tartrazine which are artificial preservatives and colourings added to food. It is advisable to check all food labels for E Numbers.

Benzoic acid-The salts and esters of benzoic acid are known as Benzoates. (E-numbers E210, E211, E212, and E213) Benzoic acid inhibits the growth of mould, yeast and some bacteria. These agents are added to pharmaceutical and food products, used in skin-care products and cosmetics to prevent spoilage.

Tartrazine (Azo dyes)-is derived from coal tar is a synthetic lemon-yellow azo dye primarily used as a food colouring. Also known as E102, E110, Sunset Yellow. It is found in cereals, beverages, sweets, ice creams, jams, cosmetics, and personal care products. Also, in many medications. It is banned in some countries. 

Other preservatives-Flavourings: (E620-635)-Monosodium Glutamate E620.Sulphites (E220-227), Nitrates (E249-252), Antioxidants: (E320-321)-BHA (E320) & BHT (E321)


Salicylates in your environment

Salicylates are absorbed through:

The skin Be aware of perfumed and strong-smelling soaps, lotion, shampoos, cosmetics, etc.

Inhaled Perfumes, body/ hair sprays (Lynx is high),air fresheners, household chemicals, incense, strong-smelling plants etc.

Personally, sometimes react to Supermarkets and Malls - it usually happens in the morning may be due to poor ventilation after chemical cleaning of the stores.!


Salicylate in Medications

Tell your Doctor or Pharmacist before taking any medication and Check labels before use.

Painkillers (except paracetamol) - avoid non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Nurofen etc.

Creams and lotions- some to avoid are oil of wintergreen, arthritis creams, Vicks vapour rub, wart removers, acne cleansers

and some insect repellents. Herbal remedies such as Aloe vera, bioflavonoids in multivitamin supplements can cause salicylate reactions. Some people even react to the capsule that contain the medication!








The information provided here is designed to support, not to replace, the relationship that exists between a patient and their physician.

This website does not host any form of advertisement and it is self-funded therefore the editorial content of this website does not have any conflicts of interest.