by: Selena Keegan
(NaturalNews) Those brightly colored gummy or chewable vitamins you give your children in hopes of providing them with more nutrients may actually harm their health. The sweetening ingredients added to make vitamins more attractive to children also put them at risk for obesity, diabetes, asthma, diarrhea and other ailments. Take a look at what our label research turned up about these products.
According to the label, Disney Princess Gummies contain: corn syrup, sugar, grape juice concentrate, gelatin, modified corn starch, citric acid, lactic acid, purple berry color concentrate, (maqui berry juice concentrate, sugar), maltodextrin, fractionated coconut oil, beeswax, dicalcium phosphate, natural flavors, black carrot juice color oncentrate, silica, annatto color, mannitol. Disney does not manufacture these vitamins but licenses its logo to NBTY, Inc. and two of its subsidiaries, NatureSmart LLC and Rexall Sundown, Inc. In 2010, these companies agreed to pay just over $2 million to the Federal Trade Commission for using false claims that their vitamins promoted healthy brain and eye development in children.
Flintstones Complete Gummies are comprised of "glucose syrup, sucrose, gelatin, water, choline bitartrate; less than 2% of: artificial flavors, ascorbic acid, bees wax, carnauba wax, citric acid, d-biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, fd&c blue #1, fd&c red #40, fd&c yellow #6, folic acid, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vegetable oil (coconut or palm), vitamin A acetate, vitamin B12, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), vitamin E acetate, zinc sulfate." Flintstones Vitamins are under the umbrella of Bayer AG, a German-based chemical company which also produces One-a-Day Vitamins, Alka-Seltzer and Aleve, as well as pharmaceuticals and high-tech materials for the automotive and construction industries.
Gummi King Sugar Free Multivitamins contain: maltitol syrup, maltitol, water, pectin, fumaric acid, citric acid, natural flavors, colors added (black carrot juice concentrate, turmeric), fiber." Gummi King is a vegan line, and their website prominently displays the approval of PETA. This line of vitamins is manufactured by Vitamec USA, Inc. which also produces vitamins as well as mineral and food supplements for adults.
The Centrum line of vitamins is owned by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Centrum produces a wide spectrum of vitamin products for different age groups, including a kids chewable vitamin. Centrum Kids Complete Multivitamins ingredients are "sucrose, dibasic calcium phosphate, microcrystalline cellulose, mannitol (wheat), calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, ascorbic acid (vit. C), stearic acid (soybean), pregelatinized corn starch, mono- and di-glycerides." The label also notes that the product contains less than 2% of the following: acacia, aspartame, beta-carotene, bht, biotin, calcium pantothenate, carbonyl iron, carrageenan, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), chromic chloride, citric acid, corn starch, cupric oxide, cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), dextrose, dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), dried corn syrup, fd&c blue no. 2 aluminum lake, fd&c red no. 40 aluminum lake, fd&c yellow no. 6 aluminum lake, folic acid, gelatin, guar gum, hypromellose, lactose (milk), magnesium borate, magnesium stearate, malic acid, maltodextrin, manganese sulfate, medium chain triglycerides, modified corn starch, natural and artificial flavors, niacinamide, phytonadione (vit. k), potassium iodide, propylene glycol alginate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), silicon dioxide, sodium ascorbate, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, sodium molybdate, sorbic acid, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), tocopherols, tribasic calcium phosphate, vanillin, vitamin a acetate, zinc oxide.
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been linked to a range of health conditions such as tooth decay, liver damage, obesity, diabetes and ADHD. Additionally, the manufacturing process which transforms corn first into corn starch and then into HFCS involves the use of toxic chemicals. One of those, glutaraldehyde, is an embalming fluid which can induce headaches, dizziness, burning eyes, and asthma. Mercury is also used in the HFCS production process. In a 2009 study, between half and one third of all products containing HCFS were found to have mercury contamination (http://www.naturalnews.com/032948_h…).
Unfortunately, maltitol, one of the substitutes some companies use for HCFC, carries its own health issues. Products containing maltitol technically qualify as "sugar-free." Maltitol is a sugar alcohol, meaning its chemical structure resembles both sugar and alcohol. Unlike sugar, sugar alcohols are not fully absorbed in the bloodstream so they have less impact on blood sugar. Sugar alcohols cannot cause inebriation but they can ferment in the intestinal tract, causing gas, bloating or diarrhea.