Ice Cream Chemical Link to Sinus Infections

| Modified: Jan 04, 2021
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The Surprising Connection Between 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."

UPDATE:

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.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/549122-sweets-that-cause-sinus-problems/

http://www.zhealthinfo.com/icecream&sinusinfections.htm

http://voices.yahoo.com/sinus-infections-causes-didnt-know-about-102396.html?cat=5


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback

163 User Reviews
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Posted by Linhen (Marietta, GA) on 01/04/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I can confirm Earth Clinic's findings. I had Haagen Daz ice cream on Tuesday and came down with flu like symptoms and sinus infection on Thursday. This happened in the past after having a Wendy's shake as well.


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Prov31J (Somewhere Over The Rainbow (KS)) on 11/06/2019
0 out of 5 stars

I was ALWAYS having sinus infections after ice creams especially in the 80's and 90's... at some point, I read of sage helping with sinus infections... Worked great and I've not had as much of the sinus infections (of course,

I rarely eat ice cream and the chemically enhanced soft serve type "frozen desserts" either...). Even the kitchen spice bottle like you use for cooking Thanksgiving dinner - just plopped a teaspoon in hot tea water and let it steep 3-5 minutes or longer. At first I wanted it with stevia or honey to deal with the sage astringency/flavor - but now I can just shoot it straight. Be prepared to spend some time in the restroom bringing all the phlegm up - doesn't sound pretty, but the pain goes bye-bye with every glob that I spit up and out into the trash (I shouldn't have to tell you all to not "recycle" it by swallowing whatever you cough. It only buys you a little time until it comes back up so you still need to clear it out of your sinus passages!!).


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Soph (LA) on 07/19/2019
0 out of 5 stars

We bought some ice cream. It was dairy substitute ice cream. Two days later, major sinus infection pain, major pain it hurt to open my eyes, could not sleep for two days. I decided to mixed coconut oil with few drop eucalyptus oil and two drops of peppermint oil and one drop of tea tree oil and few drops of DMSO. I mixed it all together and rubbed in over my sinus every hour wore soft hat on head and went to bed. I felt much better. Would of never guessed that ice cream is so toxic.


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Soph (LA) on 07/19/2019
0 out of 5 stars

We bought some ice cream. It was dairy substitute ice cream. Two days later, major sinus infection pain, major pain it hurt to open my eyes, could not sleep for two days. I decided to mixed coconut oil with few drop eucalyptus oil and two drops of peppermint oil and one drop of tea tree oil and few drops of DMSO. I mixed it all together and rubbed in over my sinus every hour wore soft hat on head and went to bed. I felt much better. Would of never guessed that ice cream is so toxic.


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Kimberly (Pennsylvania) on 01/30/2017
0 out of 5 stars

I have just Googled about this issue. I am affected from dunkin donuts creamer they use. I don't need to drink much in the coffee and I instantly have this reaction everytime. I always drank it black now with creamer and get instant sinus reactions than goes away the next day. I am interested in learning more and helping anyway I can. This is the only information I found online that can link to my issue.


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Lightbulb (Oregon) on 08/14/2016
0 out of 5 stars

We eat non GMO organic and perhaps ice cream maybe two times in ten years. One day at the supermarket they had big ice cream sale . Häagen-Dazs and Talenti, we bought both ate some . That night I noticed by eyes hurt so bad, hurt to move them. and I had insomnia my frontal sinuses were inflamed feeling . I did not link it to ice cream. My husband was sleeping he was not feeling so good. That night we ate more ice cream next day I felt like I had a mega sinus infection, I felt so weird I was forgetting things and I had migraine, we were going to go to the emergency dept, decided to wait to see my MD on Monday. I'm stunned that ice cream from my childhood days has turned into a dangerous poison with all sort of chemicals! No ice cream for us ever, unless I make it at home. end of story.


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Hippocrates (Missouri) on 07/12/2016 9 posts

You want the connection, here it is: Balsam of Peru and Balsam of Tolu.

These two "ingredients" are basically tree saps from some South American trees and they are basically the same thing. They are commonly used to "naturally flavor" many foods and also widely used in perfumes. This probably explains it if you are allergic to perfumes and scents, and/or if ice cream bothers your sinuses. It contains compounds that are chemically the same or similar to cinnamon, clove, vanilla, citrus, etc and can be extracted and used much more cheaply than the real thing.

Looking over the chemical names listed above for the Burger King Strawberry Milkshake, I recognize many of those chemical compounds as easily derivable from Balsam of Peru and Balsam of Tolu. (http://www.rain-tree.com/balsam.htm)

They can put it in ANY food or beverage and label it simply as "natural flavor", so it can be in anything you eat that says "natural flavor" or even potentially "artificial flavor". It is also the number two contact dermatitis allergen at 15% of skin all tests showing "positive" results, just behind nickel. If 15% of people's skin is allergic to it, logic would dictate that the rest of their body probably would not like it either if ingested or inhaled, especially the delicate mucous membranes of sinuses and digestive tracts.

Research it yourself and see if avoiding "natural flavors" is worth it.

Also, petition your local government and tell them to make manufacturers label EVERYTHING that is in their foods and personal care products! If it is going in or on us, we have a right to know what is in it!


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Audrey (Wawrung) on 11/07/2015
0 out of 5 stars

I have had my suspicions for some time now about my reaction to chocolate chip mint ice cream. I seem to always get sick with bronchitis that lasts months. I have been a skeptic of this connection since I grew up eating ice cream ( this flavor always a favorite) with no problems. I did it again last Friday night and it started Saturday and I have been stick with bronchial asthma for a week. I also get sick eating cold cereals with bht that didn't bother me as a kid. This site puts it together for me. I'm done with ice cream. Is it the corn in cereals (the rare treat of Lucky Charms)? Or the BHT?

EC: Hi Audrey,

Please read the introductory/overview article at the top of our ice cream and sinus infections page here, specifically these 2 parts:

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."

------------------------------------------

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."

 


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Jules (Kyabram Victoria Australia) on 11/03/2014

Thank you so much, I am in the throws of a megga sinus attack with no other reason for it than a new brand of icecream which states its the Smooth icecream with the worlds finest vanilla flavour! Sourced from Madagascan vanilla..........Now I am informed and will go back to making my own with homegrown strawberries and NO artificial flavours.. Its such a relief to learn its not the icecream as such but once again its the Ad-ins.....

Cider vinegar massage and steaming are finally providing me relief thanks to sites like yours who care enough to help.


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Em (Fl, US) on 10/28/2014

I am so happy to have been directed to your site. So much information. The ice cream/sinusitis connection is especially interesting, since I have several friends/family members that suffer terribly with sinus trouble.

I don't have any cures but I wanted to share some information that a nurse (7th Day Adventist) told me, during a discussion about nutrition. One of her statements was so simple as to render it mind-boggling. She said:

Everyone forgets that God made MILK for baby cows!

And we wonder why, even in raw form, we can't tolerate it??

Be calm and be healthy...


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Belle (Pembroke Pines, Fl) on 03/06/2014
0 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Prioris
(Fl, Usa)
03/06/2014

Have you checked into fungal infection as reason for sinusitis. One quick remedy could be mixing 1% johnson's baby shampoo (probably anything that has surfactant would do) with 99% water. put in nose with eye dropper. it clears away biofilm. I used it for sinusitis headache and it worked to some extent.

Some have used gut bacteria and put into nose. I'd consider also treating with antifungal.

Here is a treatment protocol someone wrote up. it's very informative.

http://www.phytotechdr.com/blog/chronic-sinusitis-natural-treatment-protocols

Replied by Prioris
(Fl, Usa)
03/06/2014

let me clarify what I just said about 1% shampoo solution

to make nasal solution I used ... 1 cup water, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp johnson baby shampoo ... but this is 2% solution so one can use less than a tsp of shampoo ... the baking soda and salt is needed ... you can use eye dropper or nasal spray bottle to put into nose


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Nikki P (Ontario Canada) on 01/09/2014
0 out of 5 stars

3 days ago I celebrated a birthday with a friend here in my home all my life I delt with sinusitis since I was 16. I picked up a DQ icecream cake for her to share with her family. I had decent sized piece. Next day had pressure on my ears and face seen that my face was swollen. I just assumed it was allgeries by the next day I was in so much pain my ears were closed up like being on an air plane running 102 fever and really bad virtago. Have a netti but the water not going through did natural healing search found this Page and went holey #*+". I have reflected back on past events and realized I had ice cream every time I got sick. This is just mind blowing.

Nikki P, Ontario Canada

Replied by Amy
(Los Angeles California)
01/10/2014

If you have problems with Sinusitis it is very important to avoid cold foods like ice cream, freezes, and ice chip drinks of any kind. Snow cones is also a no no for sinusitis suffers. AND KEEP YOUR HEAD WARM WITH A HAT OR KNIT CAP. DON'T ALLOW YOUR HEAD TO BECOME COLD ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT. In fact it is probably best to keep your entire body warm.

I am mostly well from my Sinusitis but I bought a Vanilla Bean Cappuccino at Starbucks and this cold drink with ice chip (that is so delicious) started a Sinusitis attack on me. I now have to avoid them. Benadryl will usually help an attack! Warmth is a must!


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Aditya (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) on 06/26/2013
0 out of 5 stars

I haven't had a history of sickness, and I believe I have a fairly good immune system. A few weeks ago, ice-cream was on sale, so I bought two packs. After finishing the first (chocolate), I opened up the last pack last Saturday, this was some three flavour (I never really care what I buy, like I said I've never really had any major problems). The next morning I had what seemed like a cold. I ignored it, had some cold medications and went off to work, from there it was downhill. I thought it might just be the weather, I bought neo-citran to end the pain in my ears (sore throat). It helped me sleep, but my lungs were full of mucus the next morning. Its been a few days now (10 days). I haven't fully recovered, it is getting better. But atleast now I know, whats wrong, its a great relief, having read this post. I just wanted to post my experience here so that people realize this is not a fluke, it does and is happening.


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Anonymous (Orlando, Fl) on 06/26/2013
0 out of 5 stars

Thank you for your article on ice cream and sinus infections, Saturday I went to my local market they had Klondike bars buy one get one free, I been waking up everyday since with a horrible headache and clogged nasal passages, like it says in the article I do not have a runny nose. I just wanted to share my experience so anyone reading this knows it is true, from now on I will be staying away from ice cream.


Ice Cream and Sinus Infections Reader Feedback
Posted by Rod (Philly, Pa) on 03/30/2013
0 out of 5 stars

I just found your page while looking for home cures for sinus infection (which I have right now) and surprise! I did have ice cream just before I came down with this. I wanted to inform you that I do not eat any ice creams that contain any artificial additives. Most of what I buy I get from Wholefoods. I just thought that you might want to add this to your statistics for narrowing down the culprit.

Replied by Ejules
(Woodbridge, Us)
03/31/2013

Look into the benefits of using oil of oregano for similar symptoms.



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