RECENTLY, I RECEIVED AN INTERESTING AND INFORMATIVE LETTER from a reader. The letter included an ingredients list for Mucinex for kids. I was very grateful for the letter and information about a product I’m sure many of us give our kids, so I thought I’d share it with you.
Like this reader, I don’t often think about the inactive ingredients in the medications I give my kids – I’m usually too preoccupied by the illness. But I think it’s important to know what we are ingesting in order to make informed decisions. The ingredients list below contains substances that I prefer to avoid (dyes) and at least one substance that I wouldn’t typically let my kids ingest (saccharin). Like the people say “The More You Know…” [insert shooting star here].
I ran across your site today while looking for the ingredients in Uncrustables. I was at my kids school having lunch with them today and really noticed how many kids get these packages of junk. Maybe today was just an unusual day. I can’t say. Anyway, I came home to search and ran across your channel on YouTube. After watching a few, and noticing you had a website, I thought I’d forward something I put together about 4 years ago. My wife and I purchased some Mucinex expectorant for one of my kids.Â For some reason I decided to read the ingredients. Now, I have always been diligent about quality of food, however, I have never read ingredients in medicines. I don’t know why. Well, I guess I was a mindless zombie. I read the box and could only identify a few items on their list. I began to search the net and was pretty appalled at what I found, as I know you can understand. So, I’m forwarding on to you, what I had emailed out to all my friends and families several years ago. I thought, maybe, you could start broadening your website to include some non-food items as well.
Today, more than ever, we have some of the worst food in our supermarkets. I often look into other peoples carts and can’t seem to find a single item that isn’t predominately sugar or HF corn syrup. Try to find a fruit juice that actually contains ONLY juice, at a mega-mart. Sad. If we’re so advanced here in the US, why do Bushmen in Africa all have straight white teeth and kids here are crooked and can’t seem to keep them in their mouths with dentists on every corner and a hundred different toothbrushes and toothpastes to choose?
MUCINEX FOR KIDS INGREDIENTS:
(NOTE: All information and comments below are straight from the submitter.)
Citric Acid Anhydrous: Citric acid anhydrous is mainly used as an acidulating, Flavoring and preservative in foods and beverages; it is also usedÂ as an antioxidant plasticizer and detergent builder
Dextrose: Also known as corn sugar, is a simple carbohydrate. It is 70 – 80% as sweet as sucrose (table sugar) and is absorbed and
utilized quickly, providing a rapid source of energy.
FD&C Blue No. 1: Is a coloring agent used in food and in vitamin supplements since 1929. The color is commonly used in beverages, drink
powders, baked goods, jams, jellies, candy, and liqueurs.
FD&C Red No. 40: Is a coloring agent used in food and in vitamin supplements.
Flavor: God only know what this means.
Glycerin: Also called glycerol, is a moistening agent used as a food additive. Colorless and odorless, it is also used in medicines.
Methylparaben: Is an antifungal that is widely used as a preservative for food, drugs, and cosmetics. The compound is often found in
carpules of local anesthetic, acting as a bacteriostatic agent and preservative.
Potassium Sorbate: Is a preservative used to prevent mold in wines, margarine, and sausage casings.
Propylene Glycol: Known also by the systematic name propane-1,2-diol, is an organic compound (a diol alcohol), usually a faintly sweet,
odorless, and colorless clear viscous liquid that is hygroscopic and miscible with water, acetone, and chloroform. AKA
Propylparaben: An antifungal agent used as a preservative in pharmaceuticals.
Purified Water: At least they’re looking out for the kid’s health.
Saccharin Sodium: It is an artificial sweetener. The basic substance, benzoic sulfinide, has effectively no food energy and is about 300 times as sweet as sucrose, but has an unpleasant bitter or metallic aftertaste, especially at high concentrations. In countries where saccharin is allowed as a food additive, it is used to sweeten products such as drinks, candies, medicines, and toothpaste.
Sodium Hydroxide: (NaOH), also known as lye, caustic soda and (incorrectly, according to IUPAC nomenclature) as sodium hydrate, is a causticÂ metallic base. Sodium hydroxide forms a strong alkaline solution when dissolved in a solvent such as water. It is used in many
industries, mostly as a strong chemical base in the manufacture of pulp and paper, textiles, drinking water, soaps and detergents and
as a drain cleaner. Worldwide production in 1998 was around 45 million tonnes. Sodium hydroxide is the most used base in chemical
Sucralose: Is an artificial sweetener originally sold under the trade name Splenda, and now also supplied as SucraPlus. In the European Union, it is also known under the E number (additive code) E955. Sucralose is approximately 600 times as sweet as sucrose (table sugar), twice as sweet as saccharin, and four times as sweet as aspartame. Unlike aspartame, it is stable under heat and over a broad range of pH
conditions and can be used in baking or in products that require a longer shelf life.
Xanthan Gum: Is a polysaccharide used as a food additive and rheology modifier. It is produced by a process involving fermentation of
glucose or sucrose by the Xanthomonas campestris bacterium. Xanthan gum is used as a thickener in sauces, as an
agent in ice cream that prevents ice crystals from forming, and as a fat substitute that adds the “mouth feel” of fat without
the calories. It is used in canned pet food to add “cling”.
THE BOTTOM LINE: It’s hard to remember to check the ingredients on everything we consume, but it’s an important thing to do. We’re in this together, folks! If you have some food intelligence to share, send it along and I’ll post it.