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Dr. Oz discusses caramel coloring's cancer risk and chia seeds for weight loss

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Dr. Oz revealed the hidden dangers of food ingredients that could be putting you at risk for cancer on the Jan. 24 episode of the Dr. Oz Show.

"I'm going to tell you what food manufacturers don't want you to know," said Dr. Oz.

Dr. Oz said the chemical 4-MEI is a caramel coloring used in some of your favorite foods, including soda, bread, gravies, sauces and pancake syrup.

Caramel Coloring Is a Carcinogen

4-MEI is so commonly used to color foods, but Consumer Reports said the caramel coloring is a potential carcinogen that can cause cancer.

Dr. Urvashi Rangan of Consumer Reports said the consumer magazine is pressuring the FDA to set limits for 4-MEI use in foods, and to prohibit food manufacturers from labeling products containing caramel coloring as "all-natural."

Today, there are many foods in stores that claim to be "all-natural" with "no artificial ingredients" when, in fact, they contain caramel coloring. Dr. Oz is outraged that people are unknowingly consuming carcinogens and exposing themselves to cancer.

Triclosan in Antibacterial Soap Disrupts Hormones

Dr. Oz said another dangerous ingredient is a chemical called triclosan, which is found in antibacterial soap.

Heather White of the Environmental Working Group told Dr. Oz that triclosan (which is also used in pesticides) disrupts hormone function by wreaking havoc on your endocrine system. When your hormones get out of whack, you gain weight and experience chronic fatigue.

Ironically, triclosan (commonly used in antibacterial soaps) weakens your resistance to bacteria, making it easier for you to get sick. Dr. said the following products contain triclosan:

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Deodorants
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Food cutting boards
  • Antibacterial hand sanitizers.

Epsom Salt Baths and Foam Rollers Relieve Back Pain

Dr. Oz said almost everyone experiences back pain at some point. He said you can relieve back pain by doing the following:

Epsom salt bath. Take a 15-minute bath in epsom salt twice a week to relax your back muscles. On a previous episode, Dr. Oz said an epsom salt bath also helps your body release toxins and promotes weight loss (you can take an inch off your thighs and stomach with one bath).

Foam roller stretches. Dr. Oz said you can ease back pain and increase your flexibility by using a foam roller to stretch out your body. Foam-rolling also increases blood flow to your muscles, skin and tendons, de-stresses you, and prevents injury.

Chia Seeds Block Fat Absorption and Enhance Sleep

Dr. Oz said chia seeds have many health benefits, including aiding weight loss, making your hair strong and shiny, and aiding sleep.

Dr. Oz said chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart and brain health and relieves depression. They're also high in fiber, and contain magnesium, amino acids, and protein, so they suppress appetite and aid digestion.

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