Sodium Benzoate, commonly used preservative shown to harm mitochondrial DNA

Natural News report by S.D. Wells sites a study using human volunteers that found sodium benzoate causes harm to human cells. Wells states:

A molecular biology expert at Sheffield University found that sodium benzoate damages mitochondrial DNA – cells associated with metabolism and aging. How much DNA damage is done by sodium benzoate? Nobody knows. Yet there is a whole array of diseases tied to this type of DNA (coding sequence) damage. Somatic mitochondrial mutations (mtDNA) have been increasingly observed in primary human cancers. In other words, mutant DNA eventually take over if fed the right carcinogenic “fuel,” namely sodium benzoate.

Wells reports that sodium benzoate may be responsible for a type of DNA mutation commonly seen in cancers. He explains how mutations can occur.

At the cellular level, sodium benzoate deprives mitochondria of oxygen, sometimes completely shutting down the “power station” of your cells. It’s programmed cell death, and when cells are deprived of oxygen, they cannot fight off infection, and that includes the infection known as cancer – the mutation and uncontrolled division of cells. Plus, when sodium benzoate is combined with vitamin C or E, benzene is formed, which is also a known carcinogen that causes leukemia.

The shocking part is just how common sodium benzoate’s use as a food preserving ingredient is. Anything packaged might be suspect. Wells lists a few:

Sodium benzoate is easily found in most conventional foods, especially the acidic ones, including pickles, peppers, soy sauce, ketchup, salad dressings, jams, most condiments, vinegar, fruit juices, salsa, dips, shredded cheese and diet or regular soda. You may also see it listed on your mouthwash, toothpaste, cough syrup, cream, lotion and hundreds of cosmetic products. Sodium benzoate is the cheapest mold inhibitor on the market, and is one of the main reasons many Americans do not have enough essential nutrients in their bodies to detoxify. This is occurring at the cellular level – think of Parkinson’s and other neuro-degenerative, premature aging diseases.

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