Last update Dec. 16, 2023

Sodium Benzoate. Benzoic Acid


Safe substance and/or breastfeeding is the best option.

Benzoic acid is a naturally occurring chemical found in plants, animals and fermented foods. Benzoic acid and its salt, sodium benzoate or benzoate of soda, have antibacterial and antifungal properties. They are used topically in eczema and fungal skin infections, and systemically as a urinary antiseptic, in cough preparations and in some inborn errors of metabolism; also as preservatives in foods (food additive E210), cosmetics and medicines. 

At the time of the last update, we found no published data on its excretion in breast milk.

It is a substance considered safe in food and in topica application on the skin. (FDA 2023, Sambu 2022, Johnson 2017)

Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs: compatible with Breastfeeding. (WHO 2002)

Massive ingestion can produce severe metabolic acidosis (Langman 2022). Do not apply on the breast or clean well before breast-feeding.


We do not have alternatives for Sodium Benzoate. Benzoic Acid since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Sodium Benzoate. Benzoic Acid in other languages or writings:


Sodium Benzoate. Benzoic Acid belongs to these groups or families:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Sodium Benzoate. Benzoic Acid in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 122 daltons


  1. FDA. U.S. Food & Drug Administration Part 184.1- Substances added directly to human food affirmed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS). CFR. 2023 Consulted on Dec. 12, 2023 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Sambu S, Hemaram U, Murugan R, Alsofi AA. Toxicological and Teratogenic Effect of Various Food Additives: An Updated Review. Biomed Res Int. 2022 Jun 24;2022:6829409. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Langman LJ, Jannetto PJ, Sztajnkrycer MD. Unidentified anion gap metabolic acidosis. Clin Biochem. 2019 Mar;65:53-54. Abstract
  4. Johnson W, Bergfeld WF, Belsito DV, Hill RA, Klaassen CD, Liebler DC, Marks JG, Shank RC, Slaga TJ, Snyder PW, Andersen FA. Safety Assessment of Benzyl Alcohol, Benzoic Acid and its Salts, and Benzyl Benzoate. Int J Toxicol. 2017 Nov/Dec;36(3_suppl):5S-30S. Abstract
  5. WHO / UNICEF. BREASTFEEDING AND MATERNAL MEDICATION Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model List of Essential Drugs. Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development (WHO/UNICEF) 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)

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