Buyer beware: Common laxative has antifreeze chemicals
(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.
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