Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sugarless Death, I mean Gum

I'm a regular gum chewer. The other day, for some reason, I looked at the ingredients on the side of my pack of gum. Highlighted in bold letters it said " PHENYLKETONURICS: CONTAINS PHENYLALANINE". So I'm like, WTF is this?

Then I look at the full list of ingredients and there's some other things that I'm wondering about: SORBITOL, GLYCEROL, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, XYLITOL, MANNITOL, ASPARTAME, ACESULFAME K, BHT, BLUE 1.

So Kathleen looks around a little on Wiki and other places and it turns out PHENYLALANINE is some weird substance that some people can't process and it will kill them. Oh, great. And the main ingredient, SORBITOL, is a laxative that causes gas and loose stools. Great again. And ASPARTAME has something to do with cancer. At this point, I don't even want to know what the other ingredients do.

Well then I wondering, How is this possible? Every thing seems so strictly regulated in this country. How can the government/FDA allow these things to be sold if they really are harmful? And then I think about how you can also buy alcohol, tobacco, high fructose corn syrup, McDonalds... And they used to sell asbestos for all sorts of uses and encourage women to douche with Lysol . So I guess we can't just rely on the infinite wisdom of govt agencies or the endless compassion of big money hungry corporations to keep us healthy. I guess we do still have to think for ourselves. Damn it. Oh wait, I don't have to think for myself... I have KATHLEEN! Woo hoo!


Gene said...

Not to question the qualities of your wife, but you might want to think for yourself just a little. Just in case.

The Doctor said...

Meh. Phenylalanine is an essential amino acid. That means your body can't make it and you would die without it. There are a few rare, unfortunate people who were born without the enzyme to process this and it builds up in the blood, causing problems. Fortunately everyone is screened for this problem at birth and if you don't got it, you will never have a problem with phenylalanine.

Aspartic acid is another amino acid. There is no disease associated with this one.

Proteins are made when you stick amino acids like phenylalanine and aspartic acid together. When you stick these two together it has a sweet taste. You ingest these amino acids in nearly every other food you eat. I honestly don't know where this controversy came from. But seriously, the internet is not a great source of information about what common household items can kill you.

Dr B said...

I read the other day on the internet that chewing gum is associated with autism...AND impotence! Oh gosh man!