Dubbed “Pediatricians’ #1 Choice,” Bayer’s Flintstones Vitamins are one of the most successful brands on the market. Unfortunately, well-meaning parents who give these vitamins to their children are exposing them to a host of questionable ingredients. Here is a closer look at some of the dangerous things you’ll find in these vitamins.
Each serving of the chewable variety of Flintstone’s Complete contains 2 milligrams of cupric oxide as a source of copper. However, the European Union’s Dangerous Substance Directive has classified cupric oxide as harmful and dangerous for the environment. It is used as a chemical for producing dry cell batteries and rayon fabric – hardly the sort of thing you want your children to eat on a daily basis!
Most children can’t swallow pills, so these vitamins are sweetened with aspartame to make them more palatable to young taste buds. Unfortunately, this synthetic mix of l-phenylalanine and aspartic acid turns into toxic formaldehyde and methanol in the body. Aspartame has been connected to dozens of negative health effects in studies, with carcinogenicity and neurotoxicity among the top concerns.
Coal Tar Artificial Coloring
This product contains the agents FD&C Blue #2, Yellow #6, and Red #40. Synthetic dyes like coal tar have been linked to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and some studies have shown that the neurotoxicity of artificial food coloring is heightened when it is combined with another of the vitamin’s ingredients, aspartame.
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Hydrogenated oil is a semi-synthetic fatty acid that is known to incorporate into the body’s tissues and has been linked to a long list of health problems, including cancer, fatty liver disease, coronary artery disease, and even violent behavior.
As you might suspect, ferrous fumarate is included as a source of iron. However, because this is in an industrial mineral not found in food in nature, it is possible to die from consuming too much of it. The inclusion of this ingredient warranted a warning on the label because accidental overdose of products that contain it is one of the top causes of fatal poisoning in children younger than six.
To be fair, this product isn’t loaded with GMO cornstarch, but it does contain it, which is something parents who go out of their way to avoid GMOs need to be aware of. It’s also likely that the ascorbic acid that provides the product’s vitamin C comes from GMO corn considering the fact that Bayer CropScience spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to defeat California’s Prop 37 GMO labeling bill.
As you can see, this product might not be the health solution that the manufacturers want you to think it is. Parents who want to help their children boost their nutrition would do well to ensure they are eating a healthy and balanced diet. Getting nutrition from foods in their natural form is what nature intended for us and it’s how our bodies process vitamins and minerals best, so preparing healthy meals with organic food is the ideal route to take in your quest for good health. A vitamin cannot make up for a poor diet – especially not one that contains dangerous ingredients. Whole food supplements are another good alternative, but nothing compares to eating a well-rounded diet.
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