Buyer beware: Common laxative has antifreeze chemicals

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Antifreeze(NaturalHealth365) A popular laxative continues to be wrongly and widely prescribed, despite a warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about its primary ingredient – which has been linked to “neuropsychiatric events.”  At the time it issued the warning a few years ago, the FDA declared no further action was necessary. (truth is stranger than fiction)

MiraLAX and its generic counterparts contain a compound of the highly toxic chemical ethylene glycol – the primary ingredient in automotive antifreeze and brake fluid. Meanwhile, pediatricians are continuing to tell families the laxative is safe and prescribe it routinely for infants and children.

When will these people wake up?!

The problem with long-term laxative use: Is your doctor telling you the truth?

Pediatricians have been prescribing the colorless liquid as a long-term treatment for constipation in children. Yet, the FDA has not approved MiraLAX for long-term use in patients of any age, let along infants and children. The drug is only approved for adults and only for seven days at a time.

Children prescribed MiraLAX become so dependent on the laxative after years of its use, they are unable to have a normal bowel movement without it. While the long-term chronic consequences of MiraLAX use are unknown, many children have already suffered serious side effects.

FDA turns a blind eye to laxative’s highly toxic compound

The active ingredient in MiraLAX is polyethylene glycol 3350 or PEG. PEG is an osmotic laxative and draws water into the bowel. It relieves constipation by producing a watery, rather than formed, bowel movement. It is the same chemical used in wood treatments, paints, rubber, textiles, coatings, detergents and toilet-bowl cleaners.

Polyethylne glycol is produced by stringing together molecules of the toxin ethylene glycol – the antifreeze ingredient we mentioned earlier in this article.  It is so deadly, that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has issued its own warning that the body breaks the chemical down to toxic compounds. It first affects the central nervous system, followed by the heart and finally the kidneys.  As little as 30 ml can be fatal.

The use of the term “neuropsychiatric events” by the FDA in its earlier safety alert refers to neurologic disorders involving the central and peripheral nervous systems, including autism, dementia, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis and others. Other adverse side effects that have been traced to laxatives containing PEG have included kidney damage, allergy-related hives, esophageal perforations, and the involuntary passage of stools in toilet-trained children and adults.

Concerned parents have petitioned the FDA because of the increase in adverse events associated with PEG. The agency has continued to stand by its decision that no further action is necessary.

A call for sanity: Seek natural remedies for constipation

Synthetic chemicals are never a good answer for addressing health issues, including constipation in infants, children and adults.  In fact, did you know that PEG is used in toilet-bowl cleaners?  It performs a similar action in the GI tract, wiping clean the mucosal membrane of the large intestine – removing healthy gut microbes and leaving the colon unprotected and susceptible to cancer. (not a healthy solution)

Removal of the healthy microbes causes a substantial reduction in immunity and opens the door for a wide range of health concerns, including Crohn’s disease, colorectal cancer, ulcerative colitis, and a wide range of neurological and blood disorders. It can also cause occasional constipation to become more severe, leaving patients dependent on the laxative.

To wrap things up here: it is possible to treat constipation naturally – without the need for chemical-based laxatives. Live bacteria and yeasts act as natural probiotics, promoting gut health.  To ensure a healthy environment where probiotics can flourish, avoid processed foods, antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

Just as a diet of junk food can ruin the gut environment, ensuring an adequate supply of nutrient-dense and non-GMO fruits and vegetables can help to promote optimal gut health.  In addition, consuming certain fermented foods can be extremely helpful in keeping the digestive system healthy.  Some of the most powerful foods are: kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and pickles.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to reduce stress levels and remain physically active – on a regular basis.

Editor’s note: The NaturalHealth365 Store offers the finest quality probiotic supplement on the market.  Click here to order today.



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  • Karon Simpson

    Interesting, there is now nothing you can take either over the counter or prescribed that doesn’t have undesirable ingredients. It seems that the other ingredients are poisons that the industry is trying to find a use for. Take Fluoride as an example of a money maker taken from waste material.

  • Nelly Lopez

    With the wide use of laxatives, this should be information, which the public should have. How come we need investigative reporting to come up with this. I can’t understand the disconnect between the manufacturer and the public.

  • Jodie Evans

    Welcome to the world of industrial waste finding there way into our health products. It is so strange when I look up products for health and wellness on a store’s website this is listed along with other very questionable products. Since when is a pharmaceutical sleep aid, pain relieved, or laxative considered a way to maintain health.

  • Arthur Vogel

    Our intestines are taken a beating from all these products. They solve nothing and put us in danger. Who is looking out for us? Very good article, I wish everyone has a chance to read it.

    • BChristine

      Yes agreed, and further …. our entire BODIES are taking a beating from everything out there. No one is really looking out for our best interests these days, so it is up to every individual to do their own research and keep informed. No one will ever care more about your body than yourself.

  • barbara duffy

    This article has false statements being made. It states that MiraLax has ethylene glycol as an ingredient and if you look it up there in no ethylene glycol in it. MiraLax has Polyethylene glycol in. Big difference. I wouldn’t use any laxative other than something natural from a health food store but lying to the public about a pharmaceutical product is just wrong.

    • pam r

      If you research you will find this: The F.D.A. said that it had tested eight batches of Miralax and found
      tiny amounts of ethylene glycol (EG) and diethylene glycol (DEG),
      ingredients in antifreeze, in all of them. The agency said the toxins
      were impurities resulting from the manufacturing process.

      The article states that EG is a component of PEG

  • Vicki Luibrand

    The advice is not very helpful for people who already have issues. People, especially children, who have constipation issues likely have parasites, possibly intestinal worms. They would need to take a parasite herb that works for what they have and battle inflammation at the same time. Soil Based Organisms (SBO) may also be needed for other pathogens. Cascara Sagrada or Senna tea can be used short term in place of a laxative. Diju (from Tummy Temple) or rhubarb root can be helpful for longer periods. Other things that may help: lemons, apples, coffee, aloe vera juice, fiber and healthy fats.

  • Vicki Luibrand

    I forgot to mention in my previous post that severe constipation is caused by SIBO. Again, a parasite cleanse and SBO are necessary, but the vegas nerve will need to be activated in this case, by gargling, singing loudly, and/or doing a gagging reflex daily. Supplements like 5HTP can also help. There are others that may work better.

  • LK Brody

    A safer alternative would be large amounts of vitamin C or magnesium. Take some, then an hour later some more (repeat) until you get the “result”, Google is your friend for suggested amounts and where to get it.

  • eyesandears

    Decades ago, the “Black Widow” killed 8 husbands by putting small amounts of antifreeze into her husbands’ food every day. A metabolite of ethylene glycol is glycolic acid; it accumulates in the body and is the primary cause of toxicity. She was only apprehended and prosecuted once toxicology tests became sufficiently sophisticated.

    So the accumulative impact of even small amounts on a regular basis is problematic.


    Well, Natural Health…Is this true about MiraLax containing Polyethylene glycol and you are saying ethylene glycol, which is different? Please prove what you are saying.

    • disqus_k3oycamN0W

      Poly means many molecules (of ethylene glycol) linked together. If you need a proof that polymer is better than it’s monomers, you can start on MiraLax and try to become that proof.

  • John Parson

    Why is it when talking about how to be healthy by eating right there is always someone who wants the scientific research from a bunch of doctors that are doctors for the money they don’t want you to get well they would be out of a well paying job. Just look at millions of years of how people have been eating to stay alive and be healthy too. The biggest health mistake man has made in the history of eating is growing grain crops and eating what is not natural, sort of like forcing cows to eat corn to fatten them up, corn is not natural to grass only eaters, and corn was not around until the south American Indians developed it from different grasses, so not even corn, the main staple for a lot of the worlds population, is designed for people to eat. Just Eat what God put on the earth for us to eat and you will be healthy and strong well into your old age, nothing to argue about on this one and scientists working for the chemical companies don’t need to bother getting into the discussion using their made up papers, even though that’s how they stay wealthy. Enough said, now go have a salad and skip the Ranch Dressing.

  • Truth4All

    I’m shocked that no one in this crowd has mentioned Chia Seeds and Psyilium fiber. Chia is VERY nutricious, Senna Tea which has been mentioned is good to get things moving, and I like it now as a weak tea in morn on empty stomach 30 min before I eat anything if i’m having trouble. I use the Alvita organic senna tea.Keep gut flora up. Also getting on an inversion table and stretching out the body vertically is GREAT!