You can walk into just about any kitchen in Alabama, and likely see a diet drink in the fridge.

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But did you know there is an ingredient in some diet drinks that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns could cause health issues? The ingredient is Brominated vegetable oils (BVO), and the agency has proposed a ban on using it.

What are Brominated vegetable oils?

According to the FDA Website, Brominated Vegetable Oil is a food product used in diet sodas. The oil is modified by bromine and is used to keep the natural oils they use for flavoring dissolved in some liquids without separating.

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What is the issue, and what health issues can it cause?

Bromine is known to irritate the skin, nose, mouth and stomach, registered Mayo Clinic dietitian Katherine Zeratsky, RD, LD, told The Food Network.

“It’s also been linked to neurologic symptoms in people who drink large quantities of citrus soda — more than 2 liters a day.”

Do a lot of soda companies still use BVO?

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Per the reporting, Pepsi removed BVO from Gatorade products in 2013, with Coca-Cola removing all BVO from its entire product line in 2014. Until 1970, BVO was generally recognized as safe by the FDA. However, since then, more research has been done to consider any health effects of BVO.

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There are still some diet sodas that use brominated vegetable Oil. Make sure to always check the label of soft drinks to see if any contain BVO. Since BVO is used in such a small amount, it should be listed towards the bottom of the ingredients list. Read more from the FDA's website by clicking here.

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