Aspirin-like effects of selected food additives and industrial sensitizing agents


Dr W. R. Williams, Asthma Research Unit, Sully Hospital, Cardiff CF6 2YA, U.K.


A number of food additives and industrial chemicals, responsible for inducing symptoms of intolerance in some individuals, have been studied in tests measuring platelet activation by noradrenaline. All the investigated agents inhibited platelet aggregation and this was associated with inhibition of the cyclo-oxygenase-thromboxane pathway. Suboptimal inhibitory concentrations of the agents studied had additive inhibitory effects on platelet aggregation when they were tested in pairs, or when tested with salicylate or aspirin. The results support the theory that some food additives and industrial chemicals induce intolerance because of their aspirin-like properties.