Won’t Get Fooled Again?

Paying for gas a while back, I was being upsold on various chocolatey treats, chewy things and gum. I chuckled at the girl and said that maybe when they’ve stopped lacing gum with aspartame, I might have some again.

“Ah, but,” she said, “these ones have no aspartame! In fact, it’s good for you.”

And there it was. Vitamin Gum.

Sugar free, no aspartame, “A Healthier Chew”, if you believe the label. Fascinated, I just had to buy some.

There are direction on this gum too. You must chew for 5 – 10 minutes to ensure release of nutrients. Silly me. I thought gum was to be chewed until the taste was gone, and then stuck under your chair. Well, not any more.

Now, you can get the first six letters of your vitamins, all 10% RDI (recommended daily intake) per two pieces of gum; A, a range of Bs, C, D, E, and Folic Acid. You’re limited to 10 pieces per day, says the package, so the most you’ll get is 50% of these essential vitamins. But hey, what could be easier? So many people tell me they don’t like “taking pills” (including supplements), so this must be the ultimate in easy health.

But wait! Let’s first look at the sweeteners that are there.

Aspartame is a potent neurotoxin (brain and nerve damage), long recognized as one of the most dangerous food additives we have on the market. It was discovered by a chemist at Searle in 1965. It was approved in the States for use in dry goods in 1981, according to Dr. Mercola, and for carbonated beverages in 1983. But get this. Monsanto bought Searle in 1985 and split the company into two entities – Searle Pharma and Nutrasweet. Now just guess how good this additive is for you.

Good thing there isn’t any of this stuff in the Vitamin Gum. It’s sweetened with sucralose, malitol and malitol syrup and neotame, and maintains freshness with BHT, the just slightly less toxic cousin of BHA.

Both BHT and BHA create brain-splitting migraines for those who are susceptible to them.

Sucralose, also called Splenda, is well known to people. Less well known, is that it has a profound and damaging effect on your good gut bacteria, and has been linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity.

Neotame, according to Dr. Mercola, is like aspartame on steroids. It is a chemical derivative of aspartame. And guess what! It’s made by NutraSweet (aka Monsanto). Neotame is “13,000 times sweeter than table sugar, and about 30 times sweeter than aspartame”, according to Mercola. This is improved aspartame, more stable at high temperatures and even more toxic than before. The problem with both of them is that as the body breaks it down (partly with heat) they produce formaldehyde, which is toxic, even in small amounts.

Malitol is a sugar alcohol, a type of hydrogenated starch, that is associated with stomach and abdominal pain, diarrhea and excessive gas and flatulence. (I hear you smirking!) Malitol syrup is hydrogenated corn syrup. Most North American corn is GMO, courtesy of Monsanto, so as innocuous as this one sounds, it’s probably not the best thing for you.

*sigh*

Remember when table sugar was the “White Death” and just about the worst thing for you? Good old sucrose. I don’t believe there is any gum on the market that has sugar (and only sugar). But, the search continues, because frankly, I miss chewing gum.  Pur gum seems to be a good alternative, as they use Xylitol for sweetener, and this is a natural product.

If you’re after easy and entertaining vitamins, though, be aware that the chewables and gummy versions also contain aspartame and other nasty sweeteners, but probably not sugar. If you want to take vitamins without the nasty additives, you might have to learn to swallow the big capsules.

This article was first published to LinkedIn on January 4, 2016.  It has been refreshed and updated for its home turf.

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