Maya's Happy Place

A multiple food allergy kid grows up.

Avoiding Soy In Vitamin E, Tocopherol Acetate and Natural Flavors


Sure, you look for soy or nut labeling, but do you know the other soy derivatives that could be in your cereal?

So Sunday, some of you know I figured out my soy allergy
includes ‘tocopherol acetate’ also known as Vitamin E. I had been eating
cereals for years, wondering why I was getting so exhausted and having major “brain fog” after eating (to
the point of needing a nap or else I couldn’t function) while my fingers and
sometimes my face would itch.
If I ate it more than twice in a two or three day
period, my (tocopherol) vitamin E from soy allergy would accumulate in my
system and the area around my lips and nose would itch and peel so bad, no
Vaseline or lip balm could help.

I attributed it for a long time to a slight wheat allergy; because
when I was little, I was highly allergic to wheat.
Upon re-examining the ingredients, I saw the “vitamins” section
underneath the “ingredients” section. There is no warning for soy or nuts so I
was under the false impression that this cereal was safe.


Allergic to soy and always sleepy or “out of it”? It could be from soy derivatives. 

 I checked my box of cereal, which happened to be Special K with berries and saw “tocopherol acetate.” Knowing that I am highly
allergic to this ingredient in cosmetics, lotions and bath products, I realized
that it is likely from soy. Most
tocopherol acetate in foods and cosmetics is from soy
because it is cheap
to add and produce.

the source of the derivative. If it doesn’t tell you the source, it is safe to assume it is from soy.

Vitamin E is added to A LOT of cereals, cosmetics and bath
products (touted as not only a vitamin but is also used as a preservative). It
is prevalent in a lot of vitamins and supplements, so you have to read labels
carefully to be sure the vitamin E is not sourced from soy.

Upon trying to make my own lotions and creams last year,
vitamin E capsules and pure soy-free vitamin E is almost impossible to find.
The soy industry has pretty much weaseled its way into the vitamin market., but Purely-E by North American Herb and Spice in liquid form is soy-free and GMO-free!

So while scouring the aisles at Whole Foods for a tocopherol acetate-free cereal, I came across No Nuttin All Natural Granola in Vanilla Caramel. I read the back which stated: “So what do you do with a child and husband with 6 different life-threatening food allergies? After much frustration grocery shopping, I started a company so that my family and others just like us could have tasty, safe and healthy food. I worry about the details so you don’t have to.” After an hour of reading the backs of cereal boxes and seeing the stupid “made on equipment with….” or “may contain….” or “tocopherol acetate (to preserve freshness)” I felt like this new company gave me a hug.

While they started off as a dedicated nut-free facility, as of last year, No Nuttin became a dedicated soy-free facility in September 2012, so every product sold on their site or in stores with a sell by date after June 2013 is SAFE for nut allergy and soy allergy sufferers. Don’t forget to keep your receipts for tax time!

 I just tried the Vanilla Caramel granola for the first time and I can honestly say it is the best tasting granola I’ve ever had. It has a hint of honey which gives it just the right amount of sweet, with a warm vanilla caramel-y taste…sooo delicious. I’m actually running out to Whole Foods later to buy two or three more to have in the house so that I can add it to my apple crisp recipe or make my own granola bars and add Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Gluten, Dairy, Nut & Soy-Free Mini Chips(Pack of 6)

when I feel the urge.

The other thing to avoid is ‘natural flavors’ which is common in (most if not all) Coca Cola Company sodas and so many foods. While looking for cereals in Whole Foods, I also came across Kashi Organic Cereal – Island Vanilla (Pack of 4)

It is non-GMO Verified by the Non-GMO Project which tells me that the ‘natural flavors’ in the ingredients list is likely not from soy. (GMOs are always from corn or soy or a mixture of both) Update: If you like Frosted Mini Wheats, you will love this cereal; it has that same amazing mini-wheat texture that just seems to taste even better once a little soggy from milk. Upon first bite, the vanilla sweetness seemed like it needed more, but on the second and third bite, I decided the sweetness was absolutely perfect and adding stevia or honey might be too much.

Hope this is useful for all of you! 

27 responses to “Avoiding Soy In Vitamin E, Tocopherol Acetate and Natural Flavors”

  1. I was going to send this to you in an email, but I couldnt' see how to do that (though I did try to send you a message via Facebook, too). Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that I am so grateful for your website. I have used your website (and a few others) to double check my info that I pass onto my readers for probably at least a year now. I probably don't keep up with my lists as much as I should, I know I don't keep up with them as much as I like, but I do try to keep as current as I feasibly can. 🙂 At any rate, I just wanted you to know that I have added you to my site reading list and added your site link to my blog on my soy-free pages so that people will know to come to you for more info. I hope you don't mind. If you do, let me know, and I'll change it. Also, if you know of any soy-free foods or non-foods or any alternative names for soy I'm missing, please let me know so that I can change things on my site for my readers. Thanks! 🙂 I appreciate it so much! I figure, the more we get the word out, the better! Have a great weekend, and thanks for all you do!

  2. Julie, You are so very welcome! That made my heart smile and totally made my day! As you know, sometimes us bloggers have no idea if we're making an impact and its such an amazing feeling to know when we are.Yes, unfortunately the list of soy derivatives is so extensive and seems to be getting longer every year (as they keep coming up with new ways to market it or use it). GMOs are a huge concern as well, since they are never labeled in food and they come from soy/corn (Not sure if you read 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' by Michael Pollan, but it is definitely an eye-opening look into the soy/corn industries). Stay tuned as I will definitely be posting over the next few days some more soy derivatives I've experienced reactions to and what they are found in. You are more than welcome to share the info or link to me anytime; I agree, the more people know, the better their quality of life and the more awareness we spread through the FA community and beyond.Wishing you all the best and a safe weekend!

  3. Thanks, Maya! I'll definitely compare your list to mine and add or take away as needed! That will be a big help to my readers!I've not read that book, but I have heard of it. It was recommended to me awhile ago, so it's on my “to read” list, just haven't gotten there yet. :)I hear you about the GMOs…The more I read, the more I don't like what I've seen! I do my best to avoid them, but I know I don't do it 100% of the time.I am not one with food allergies (though I did have a “misdiagnosis” of sorts to soy, peanuts/tree nuts and seafood/fish years ago – I talk about that on my Natural and Free blog, so I won't share it here), but I do have food sensitivities that greatly impact my health, the biggest triggers being soy and processed foods. I am so thrilled that labels are getting better, but in the same vein, I hate how much people are taking “short cuts” in food by filling them with additives and such. Just makes me sad! I think the scariest thing I've been reading lately is that the FDA is talking about “safe levels of allergens” in foods/products. Seriously? That's nuts! If it's in there, list it! Let the consumer decide. Gracious!I look forward to connecting with you more. Feel free to email me at any time (email you can find via my blogs or profile). I will definitely be passing on any information (giving you credit, of course) to my readers that you find! Knowledge is power, as they say! :)Take care!

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  5. Julie,Sorry I wanted to add more than I thought lol.Soy is seriously so evil. Its my Kryptonite. On the topic of the “safe” levels of allergen, it does not apply to people like me, who ARE allergic to soybean oil and GMOs (it makes me so mad that so many prestigious organizations in the FA community consider soy oil safe because the protein is removed…they have no clue). Soybean/vegetable oil gives me severe cumulative hand eczema, severe PH problems due to hormonal changes from allergic reactions (for a week or more) and peeling rashes all around my lips…not pretty. I also learned from Food Allergy Bitch's blog that allergens are NOT required to be labeled on products unless the amount of contamination causes a reaction. For this reason, don't put too much faith or trust in labels, if in doubt, go USDA certified organic and ALWAYS buy from the bigger or “dedicated soy-free or nut free” facilities (which are so few and far between but slowly peeking their heads out..)GMOs also include the wax and oil that is on non-organic produce to make it 'pretty'. Yes, just found out recently that the wax and oil usually is soybean oil or soy protein based. All these years of reacting to tomato sauce and fruits that weren't organic now makes sense!Also check out my 'Newspaper Allergy' article in my articles section…most inks are from soy. I am so glad you are able to pass the info along! =) Always a pleasure hearing from you.Stay warm and safe this weekend!

  6. Such a great article! Soy is a common allergan in a lot of people foods and Pet foods and it seems to be in so many products today. It is also a hormone which can worsen PMS. Try to avoid soy in people products and pet products.

  7. Anonymous,Sorry I saw this so late! Yes, so true, I'll bet people with soy allergy who have pets might not have even thought about that! Thank you for sharing. And yes, soy is an endocrine disruptor which from my understanding, mimics estrogen in the body…thereby causing many hormonal problems.Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  9. Just saw your post as I was searching for where vitamin E's come from. Thanks for sharing! I'm not sure if you know, but just wanted to share I've found out over the years that acetaminophen in Tylenol and other companies comes from soy.

  10. Thank you for the tip, Tippil! Sorry I saw this so late! Kind regards =)

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  12. Anonymous, Thank you for the tip!!! Is that really true??Are you absolutely positive acetomenophen is derived from soy? Because in my experience, its the magnesium stearate and stearic acid binders that are soy-derived. I could be wrong, but that's always what I thought. I use Up and Up Acetamenophen without a problem…

  13. Blue Buffalo is kibble. Kibble is a product and NOT a food. Food has live enzymes. Kibble does not. The heating process involved in the manufacture of kibble products kills the enzymes and natural vitamin source.

  14. Thank you for the article. I am also one of those people who is allergic to soybean oil and Tocopherols derived from soy. Which makes SunButter now off-limits for me. Feeding my family is challenging, as my daughter is peanut and tree nut allergic, and I am soy allergic. I find many more food substitutes for my daughter, than I do for myself.

  15. You're so very welcome, Melody. Yes, soy is definitely a challenge however, cooking from scratch definitely makes things easier! Just make sure to keep everything fresh and organic and you really can't go wrong! Lots of Paleo recipes are soy-free and companies are realizing that products need to be soy-free since more and more people are now avoiding it due to allergies, knowledge about it's hormonal effects or knowledge about it's toxicity when genetically modified. Focus on all the things you CAN eat and trust me, you can be happy without it. Stick with the grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish….what's the best part about it? You and your family will be healthier than ever before! Thank you for reading and commenting! Wishing you the best!

  16. PS – Melody – Also lookup 'olive oil' at top left of my blog and read that post because 69% of olive oils are adulterated or faked when from overseas…USDA Organic Olive oil is really safest bet.

  17. Man,thanks for the information.Even to educate myself cost my time to surf the Net…This American Food Corporations are killing people and they are hand in hand with the pharmaceuticals and medical industry and who knows who else in Conspiracy of having every American sick and enslaved to the Medicine industry for life…This people are dangerous and very litte has the government been able to fight them off because of the back stabbing career politicians,lobbying and having the American public $tupid,and misinformed…Its sad that i have to go hunting down every Chemical preservative they add in our food,specially when i buy it premade,canned,frozen or prepackaged..It's sadden me to realize that i have to almost cook my food from scratch top avoid being killed by a Corporate company trying to maximize in profits and sacrifice their customer well-being and also pass me onto their other friends in the Medicine industry so i could remain hopeless and chained to their medicine without ever seing a cure….horrible!..But thank you,now i know cheap cereals ain't worth it and i must pay more money for “real food”.

  18. That damn soy is insidious. Trying to eliminate it because it cuts down my T levels. It even hurts me in the sack.

  19. Excellent article! Salvo I agree. Maya, if you have more links on soy I'd love you to direct me to those articles as well. Just found out the tocopherol/vitamin E in my fish oil supplement comes from soy. They say it's so highly refined that none of the soy proteins are detectable so it can be called “soy-free”. I appreciate the company doing honest business. So yeah nowhere on the label does it mention soy. So if anyone has a link of anything that contains soy, especially when it doesn't have to be labeled, let me know. Also the small writing on some products that says processed in a facility that produces soy, does that mean there are traces of soy in those products?

  20. Pedro, Sorry for the late response as I didn't see this until now, but yes! Stay educated and take back control of your health! I see it as a gift since we can now be healthier than the rest, save money for more important things by cooking and have insight we wouldn't otherwise =) Make sure to check out the soy derivatives list on this blog which is searchable at upper left corner of main page! Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts and I wish you the best and you're very welcome.

  21. Salvo,Yes, thank you for your honesty. That is due to the hormonal changes that occur by eating processed soy. For women, it also causes infections, so yes, I do understand as many reading this probably do, too. Thank you for your honesty and for commenting!

  22. Nate,Yes, when the product says made in a facility that produces soy, there is a chance there is cross-contamination through the air or handling that can cause soy to be in the product. When I see that label I know it is a hit or miss because sometimes companies are also labeling that because of soy processing in the same room so they are avoiding legal consequences or recalls by labeling. I have had reactions (one very bad one) from this label and also had experiences when I was fine, so honestly I don't chance it anymore. You can search 'soy derivatives list' in the top left search bar on the main homepage of this blog for the most recent soy derivatives I know of. Hope that helps! Thank you for stopping by and I wish you good health through knowledge and precautions! All the best!

  23. After all these years, I now know why I can't take most vitamins without breaking out in a rash.thank you.

  24. Ken, You're very welcome =) Knowledge is key with the ever changing uses of soy. Wishing you healing and lots of healthy days!

  25. Thank you for your website and all of this good information. I've recently connected my skin problems (since I was 6 years old!) to soy and tocopherol. I eat lots of fruits, veggies, and grains but sometimes I need convenience foods. Like granola bars or a damn piece of bread. Everything has tocopherol! Could you list some that you have come across? Have you come across any dairy-free milks without tocopherol?

  26. Goodmorning from the UK .Monday February 6th 2017I have been reading through your site Maya,and it would appear to be very helpful to people who are unable for whateve reason to use products containing Soya,Parabens,and Tocopherol Acetate. So I wonder can you advise on whereabouts here in the UK I can purchase such things as ,toothpaste,shampoo, lipstick,and skin moisturiser.I am a lady aged 80 years of age ,and due to being diagnosed in May 2015 with hormone related breast cancer I have to avoid wherever I can using the above mentioned.As you know it is one big problem finding such products and also finding foods that do not contain Soya.I await your reply in anticipation Maya ,Mrs Lorretta Elgey Mclaren

  27. Vitamin E is widely distributed in foods. By far the richest sources are vegetable oils, cotton seed, sunflower seed, egg yolk and butter.Read More Information : VITAMIN E and VITAMIN A

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