Tartrazine is a yellow synthetic azo dye. Several clinical symptoms have been attributed to tartrazine, including asthma, hyperactivity of children, and urticaria (hives).

Much attention has been paid to the induction of effects in asthma patients after the intake of tartrazine. A number of studies reported a high incidence of intolerance of tartrazine among aspirin(acetylsalicylic acid)-intolerant asthmatics. On the whole, however, little evidence has been found against the use of tartrazine in cases of asthma, even among those who are intolerant to aspirin.

With regard to hyperactivity of children, there is a controversy regarding the association between tartrazine and the hyperactivity. So far, studies on this potential problem have not provided conclusive evidence for such an association. A similar controversy links a possible association between tartrazine and urticaria. In this case too, no relationship has been found.

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