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I bought some fiber gummy bears today because I'm basically a child and hell, I need fiber in my diet. Anyway, I tried opening it, and it had one of the most annoying childproof tops I've seen in ages, and for what? It's just gummy bears with added fiber! Why is there even a childproof lid on it at all? What's the worst that could happen if a kid eats all those gummy bears? Maybe some minor constipation, that's all. Ugh. And then the freshness seal thing on the inside wouldn't open even though it had one of those tab things to pull on to supposedly make it easier to do, but I couldn't get it; I had to take a knife the the thing to get it open. Oy vey!

This was cross-posted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1276128.html
You can comment either here or there.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 12th, 2015 08:18 am (UTC)
I'm willing to bet they were chewable gummi vitamins with extra fiber. "Chewable gummi" vitamins were invented to make it easier to get kids to take their vitamins; the kid chews it like a candy instead of having to swallow a fairly large pill (something many children, and even quite a few adults, have trouble doing). They're also candy-flavored, and they can actually taste pretty good. But some of the vitamins and minerals (the one they worry about the most is iron) in a one-a-day formula can be toxic to a small child who eats a whole lot of them at once. Therefore, they have to child-proof the packaging, so the kid can't eat a whole handful, or even the whole bottle, of tasty chewy "candy".
Apr. 12th, 2015 08:33 am (UTC)
Just checked again, and nope. No vitamins. Just fiber. Though I do notice now it's sugar free, which could be why it's childproofed; sugar free stuff tends to give you the runs if you eat too much at once.

Apr. 12th, 2015 08:34 am (UTC)
BTW, the thing in blue says PREbiotic, not PRObiotic. Not sure what prebiotic means.
Apr. 12th, 2015 10:37 am (UTC)
"Prebiotic" is defined as "a non-digestible food ingredient"; although the label says it contains "soluble fiber", which I would think is considered "digestible" (as opposed to insoluble fiber, which is also necessary for intestinal health, even though it leaves the body with more or less the same properties it had when it went in).

But the label is clearly designed to appeal to CHILDREN - and why would a child need a fiber supplement? Give 'em a piece of whole wheat toast and some fruit - they're far better off eating food than taking Gummi Fiber. The label doesn't even say what their fiber comes from; there was a famous case when "fiber" first became a marketing buzzword, of a brand of bread that proudly proclaimed its fiber content... until it was discovered that their fiber was (insoluble) cellulose, derived from wood pulp.

And the gummis are sweetened with xylitol and Sucralose. The xylitol is there because it inhibits the tooth decay that might well result from chewing on anything sweet; xylitol is one of the major ingredients in sugarless chewing gum. Sucralose is made by chemically substituting chlorine for parts of the normal sucrose (sugar) molecule. Neither bacteria (in the mouth and/or gut) nor the human body can metabolize xylitol or Sucralose; instead, the sweeteners pass straight through the digestive tract, and can cause diarrhea, especially in small children.

So why the fuck are they making fiber supplements for kids that consist almost entirely of "unfood" ingredients? (Why the fuck are they making fiber supplements for kids at all?)

Apr. 12th, 2015 06:59 pm (UTC)
Also, I don't know if xylitol exacerbates IB, but when I was putting just a teaspoon or so of it in my coffee every day, it ended up giving me explosive diarrhea after about a year—and I don't have IB.

Sucralose (Splenda®) was originally developed as an insecticide, wasn't it?

Lastly, I know most people don't avoid animal products as a matter of course, but I refuse to eat gelatin, which is made of BOILED BONES AND HIDES. There are actually vegan gummy bears on the market, which are great—and in Portland, I'm sure they're not hard to find.
Apr. 13th, 2015 05:46 am (UTC)
Sucralose (Splenda®) was originally developed as an insecticide, wasn't it?

That doesn't mean it's dangerous. It just means that while trying to find a chemical that worked as an insecticide, they failed, and one of the failures was something completely different from an insecticide; something that mimics sugar. And because it isn't actually sugar, it's actually SAFER than sugar, because unlike sugar, it passes harmlessly through the body.

I really hate it when people get so easily caught up in anti-science BS, like "OMG it was discovered when trying to make a pesticide" or "OMG, this has a long name I can't pronounce!" The whole anti-science BS comes from fear, fear based in not understanding something. You can use that kind of fear to make anything sound bad. Like, did you know there's a substance in iced tea, juice, and most foods and drinks sold in America that "its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of [the substance] are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol."
What substance am I talking about? The ever so scary dihydrogen monoxide... also known as water. So just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it's dangerous. Hell, you wouldn't eat pure sodium (as it's explosive) or drink pure chlorine (highly toxic), but you eat something made from sodium and chlorine every damned day (table salt), and it's necessary.

Lastly, I know most people don't avoid animal products as a matter of course, but I refuse to eat gelatin, which is made of BOILED BONES AND HIDES. There are actually vegan gummy bears on the market, which are great—and in Portland, I'm sure they're not hard to find.

Gelatin is the same substance you sometimes find when you cook meat. Ever had turkey? Turkey tends to have high gelatin content. Boiling the bones and hides is just the most efficient way to get gelatin out, and besides which, at least they're using every part of the animal.

Anyway, I'm not vegan, so I don't give a shit about gelatin not being vegan. I eat faux cheese because I can't have regular cheese, but I'm not a vegan.

You're probably right about xylitol, but I doubt there's enough in 2 or 4 gummi bears to cause me a problem. But yeah, I don't like sugar free stuff. Next time I'm going to go somewhere else to find gummy fiber, I know I've seen some marketed to adults before.
Apr. 13th, 2015 05:53 am (UTC)
Back to anti-science sentiment, it's like this foofarah against Subway for having some dough conditioner in it that some idiotic anti-science nut started by saying it was used in yoga mats. I can't believe anybody fell for that garbage, because honestly, if "it's also found in yoga mats" is our sole criterion for "OMG dangerous," then we need to stop consuming WATER, because water is also used in the process of making yoga mats. That dough conditioner has the same exact safety rating as wheat for fuck's sake, meaning it's no more dangerous than wheat, yet because it has a long sciencey name and some idiot made people think of it as being "that yoga mat chemical," Subway had to change their recipe. Ah, the power of morons in large groups.
Apr. 13th, 2015 11:23 am (UTC)
You're getting your urban legends mixed up. Supposedly, aspartame was developed as a neurotoxic insecticide, until someone somehow discovered that it tasted sweet. Actually, aspartame is an intermediate chemical step in the production of an old anti-ulcer drug, which someone did accidentally taste and found it sweet. Its only directly harmful properties affect only people with phenylketuria, a congenital, genetic defect of metabolism, which causes them to be unable to metabolize one of the breakdown products of aspartame.

The arguments agains sucralose are that it was inadequately tested, and/or that there's a massive cover-up to suppress knowledge of how toxic it is. This is just flat-out not true; it's one of the most exhaustively tested food additives of the 20th century. It was developed in London, where a professor of chemistry at King's College was playing around with the sucrose molecule, trying to see if he could make something that might have industrial uses. He substituted three chlorine atoms in specific places on the molecule, and gave a sample of it to his lab assistantm telling him to "test this" (presumably for various useful properties). The lab assistant's first language was not English, and he thought the professor had said, "taste this". It was incredibly sweet, and, since he didn't fall over dead, the testing was re-directed into its potential as an artificial sweetener.

There are only two problems that apply here. Both chemicals are passed through the digestive tract unchanged, which means that ingesting more than reasonable quantities will cause diarrhea. The other problem is that there's a growing body of evidence that eating things that taste sweet but contain no actual sugars seems to trick the brain into causing more weight gain that pigging out on real sugar would.

Apr. 14th, 2015 07:37 am (UTC)
Probably a good thing I don't like sucralose then. (It's too sweet for me.) But then, I never really had a sweet tooth. Jams would be too sweet for me if I didn't have them with bread and/or peanut butter.
Apr. 13th, 2015 05:28 am (UTC)
The fiber in the gummy fiber bears is polydextrose. Anyway, it seems to work for me, I had a fairly normal movement this morning, after having taken four bears the day before. And this was right after a day of diarrhea (caused by onion and garlic in something I ate). My poo hasn't been that solid for weeks, so I assume it's working.

As to why they're marketing fiber for kids, I would suspect it's for kids with IBS or other such conditions.
Apr. 13th, 2015 11:53 am (UTC)
A-HA! Polydextrose is a synthetic chemical not found in nature - it must be toxic, carcinogenic, and part of a conspiracy to put poisons in our food in the name of profit! /sarcasm

Little kids don't get IBS, although some people develop it in their teens. And medical conditions that would make it necessary to give a small child fiber supplements are rare enough that there shouldn't be a mass market for chewable gummis that provide only fiber. I think this is one of those things where people figure, "Well, if adults need more fiber, they can just take a pill, so we need to market one for kids as well." As I said, both children and adults would do better by eating real food that contains fiber: nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and certain fruits. Whole-wheat bread, oatmeal (light on the sugar, of course), popcorn (light on the butter and salt, of course), an apple, the old kids' snack of a celery stick filled with peanut butter and studded with raisins... shitfire, I'm the world's pickiest adult, and even I have found a couple of vegetables I can stand (and I also eat a lot of popcorn, because I've always loved it).

Apr. 14th, 2015 07:58 am (UTC)
Little kids don't get IBS

Well I hope you're right, but I wouldn't bet on it. I do know for a fact there are more older kids (still pre-pubescent, though) getting IBS, so it's not out of the realm of possibility. After all, IBS is caused by stress.

As I said, both children and adults would do better by eating real food that contains fiber: nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and certain fruits.

Sounds well and good, but my IBS has let grains and stuff (even spinach!) pass through my system undigested. Chewing until even the food is like "Oh for god's sake you can stop now" helps. Add to this the fact that a couple books about IBS say that apples are difficult to digest for people with IBS. Along with a list of other things.

Also, I like cooked celery, but I can't abide the texture of raw celery. That stringiness... ugh. *shudders*

Also, the most high fiber foods tend to be either low enough in fiber to need to eat a LOT of it, or else it tastes like cardboard. Or both. So it can be very tricky getting enough fiber in one's diet without help. Even the two polycarbophil pills I take every morning barely seem to help.

Basically, eating was already becoming a massive chore for me to begin with, cutting out things I can't have and adding high fiber things to my diet just multiplies that problem for me. I'm at the point now where I wouldn't eat at all if I didn't have to.
Apr. 14th, 2015 08:51 am (UTC)
You don't need to add huge quantities of fiber to your diet, you just have to eat somewhat more fiber than you have been. For example, a handful of nuts - any kind, including peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, even coconut - will provide fiber, along with B vitamins, protein, and the "good" kind of dietary fats. It really doesn't have to be difficult.

This Wikipedia article will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about dietary fiber.

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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