Last Modified on Jun 22, 2014
The Connection Between Certain Brands of Ice Cream, Flu, and Sinus Infections
Here's our theory, which we are absolutely convinced is an accurate one: Within 24 hours of consuming a scoop of ice cream from brands that contain artificial flavors (e.g., Baskin Robbins, Wendy's, Dairy Queen, etc.), flu-like symptoms will manifest: fever, headache, congestion, general malaise. The supposed virus disappears within 24 hours and a raging sinus infection develops in its place. You won't ever have a runny nose, (which you would have with a true virus or allergy), you'll just have two intensely clogged & infected sinus passages with extreme sinus pressure.
We started asking friends who came down with sinus infections if they had eaten ice cream 2 days prior to the onset of the sinus infection. 4 out of 5 cases reported a yes. We took our theory to the web and started asking our readers in 2006. Sure enough, the same report came back time and time again: fake flu within 24 hours and a sinus infection within 48 hours.
If you take your kids to get ice cream on the weekend, this theory should be pretty easy to track since the side effects will take place Monday or Tuesday following.
What is in Ice Cream That is Causing the 'Flu' and Sinus Infections?
Earth Clinic's Theory: It's not the listed ingredients in ice cream (milk fat and nonfat milk, sugar, sweet whey, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, etc. etc. ) but the so called "natural" and artificial flavorings causing the bogus flu and sinus infections.
We ate lots and lots of ice cream as children back in the 1970s and 80s and never once experienced a sinus infection. The sinus infections started to occur in the late 1990s, never during a cold or flu, but always (as in 100%) after eating a cone at a store like Baskin Robbins or Dairy Queen. We're convinced that if someone was to do a study on this subject, they would probably find a nationwide spike in sinus infections commencing when companies started to add chemically-complicated artificial flavors to ice cream.
6/29/2006: Penny from Fresno, CA was kind enough to send us the following excerpt. You can find even more information on this subject at: http://www.rense.com/general7/whyy.htm
"In his book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser looks at the typical ingredients in a Burger King strawberry milkshake: amyl acetate, amyl butyrate, amyl valerate, anethol, anisyl formate, benzyl acetate, benzyl isobutyrate, butyric acid, cinnamyl isobutyrate, cinnamyl valerate, cognac essential oil, diacetyl, dipropyl ketone, ethyl acetate, ethyl amyl ketone, ethyl butyrate, ethyl cinnamate, ethyl heptanoate, ethyl heptylate, ethyl lactate, ethyl methylphenyl-glycidate, ethyl nitrate, ethyl propionate, ethyl valerate, heliotropin, hydroxyphenyl-2-butanone, a-ionone, isobutyl anthranilate, isobutyl butyrate, lemon essential oil, maltol, 4-methylacetophenone, methyl anthranilate, methyl benzoate, methyl cinnamate, methyl heptine carbonate, methyl naphthyl ketone, methyl salicylate, mint essential oil, neroli essential oil, nerolin, neryl isobutyrate, orris butter, phenethyl alcohol, rose, run ether, y-undercalctone, vanillin and solvent.
It would appear that underneath the natural and artificial flavours, an abundance of compounds lay. There is nothing illegal going on here. This is all within the law. Likewise with food labels, they too can include all these ingredients and place them under the umbrella term of 'flavourings'. It's really rather frightening. The value of flavourings is of tremendous importance to the fast food industry, which require their foods be standardized, and flavourings can offer a standardized product. In order that artificial flavourings are made believable, the correct 'mouth feel' must be gained. This is achieved by the addition of starches, emulsfiers, stabilizers, sugars and fats (Marsili, 1993, Food Product Design). So next time you pop into your favourite fast food outlet for a milkshake, take a moment and think about what's really in this stuff."
Since we first wrote this article several years ago, several others have written about the link between sinus infections and ice cream. (See links below article.)
Here's a snippet from a May 6th, 2007 New York Times article by Jesse McKinley entitled: "Flavoring-Factory Illnesses Raise Inquiries."
"Over the last several years, California health officials have been tracking a handful of workers in flavoring factories who have been incapacitated with a rare, life-threatening lung condition 'bronchiolitis obliterans' for which there is no cure or treatment. Usually found only in people who are poisoned by chemical fires or chemical warfare or in lung transplant patients, bronchiolitis obliterans renders its victims unable to exert even a little energy without becoming winded or faint."
"The airways to the lung have been eaten up," said Barbara Materna, the chief of the occupational health branch in the California Department of Health Services. "They can't work anymore, and they can't walk a short distance without severe shortness of breath."
Seven flavoring-factory workers in California are known to have the disease or similarly serious lung damage, and 22 others have had lung tests come back with abnormal results..."
EC: No one on the web appears to be addressing this bogus flu/virus condition from artificial flavorings issue except for us! However, we feel it is very important that people (and the companies who add artificial flavors to their products) look into these side effects more seriously.
You may also be interested in our page on Sinus Headache Relief from Folk Cures.
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[SIDE EFFECTS] I knew it!!! I should have looked this up years ago! Thank you. I get horribly sick every single time after eating my favorite ice cream, Hagendaz vanilla Swiss almond. I am sick today, sinus and all. Had homemade papaya shake with carnation evaporated milk last night. So was it the milk? Was it the brown sugar? Was it that it was too cold? Or all of the above? I would really appreciate your feedback. thanks again to everyone.