Gummy Bears Give You Diarrhea

Screen shot 2013-12-13 at 10.52.36 AMA friend of mine recently shared a link to a product she saw on Amazon; sugar free gummy bears.  For those who like gummy bears this might seem like a great idea.  I’m here to tell you that it’s not.  Gummy bears are normally not a great choice to begin with.  Loads of sugar, glucose syrup, wax, starch, artificial flavoring, artificial colors, citric acid, and some form of gelatin.  Obviously, as I’ve said, this is not a great choice.

This particular package of sugar free gummy bears?  They’re even worse.  It starts with the fact this it comes in a five pound bag.  That is just far to much junk food to consume, much less have around the house.  If the sheer quantity is not enough to dissuade you how about the fact that smack dab in the middle of the page is this statement, “This product is a sugarless/sugarfree item with ingredients that can cause intestinal distress if eaten in excess.”  Followed, further down the page, by this statement, “Safety Warning:  Consumption of some sugar-free candies may cause stomach discomfort and/or a laxative effect. Individual tolerance will vary. If this is the first time you’ve tried these candies, we recommend beginning with one-fourth of a serving size or less. Made with Lycasin, a sugar alcohol. As with other sugar alcohols, people sensitive to this substance may experience upset stomachs.” Somehow none of that sounds tempting.

So what is this sugarless/sugarfree ingredient you ask?  It’s one you probably haven’t heard of before called lycasin.  A hydrogenated glucose syrup, also known as hydrolyzed starch (remember hydrolyzed is code for free glutamic acid and therefore a form of MSG).  Derived from maltitol, a disaccharide made from corn (and probably genetically modified corn at that), it is known to cause bloating, flatulence, intestinal disturbance, and more.  Online research revealed that according to a study done by the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition a mere 15-20 of these gummy bears produced a significant laxative effect.  And the more you ate the worse it was.

The reviews for this product are an unfortunate mix of horror and humor.  One review claimed that this would be a much more delicious way to prep for a colonoscopy.  Another claimed that after eating these they were “praying for a fart.”

I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you this, but my advice?  Don’t Eat That!!!


About Mira

Mira Dessy is The Ingredient Guru. A holistic nutrition professional, author, and a popular public speaker, she knows that it's not just what you eat, but what's in what you eat. She is the author of The Pantry Principle: how to read the label and understand what’s really in their food. Dessy is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner whose mission is to educate and empower consumers. She curates the Lean Clean Green Subscription box, the premier, organic, earth-friendly, healthy, sustainable subscription box which can be found online at