Saturday, April 25, 2020

Just because it's on a famous website doesn't mean the advice is any good

I like my water with a little flavor, so between lemonade mixes, Crystal Light, and so on, I am looking into the world of water enhancers. You've seen those in supermarkets... Either in a box of 6-10 little sachets or in a little bottle that you squeeze a squirt or two into your bottled water or such.

Obviously, people have opinions on what's good or bad, but are there any studies or scientific discussions on what's good and what's not? I decided to do some research. What I read disappointed me, as a lot of the websites, even big name ones like, the companion site to the "eat this, not that" series of books, are prone to "food babe" type hysteria and bad advice.

(If you forgot who "Food Babe" was, here's a reminder.)

Anyway, back to the rant. Here's the part of the article that bothers me.

"The second ingredient in these little bottles is propylene glycol, a preservative, thickening agent, and stabilizer, also used as antifreeze to de-ice airplanes, as a plasticizer to make polyester resins, and found in electronic cigarettes."

There is little NOTHING here that explains what's good or bad about MiO. Yes, it listed a lot of alternate uses for propylene glycol, but again, NOTHING that explains why having this is "bad". Instead, we're left with insinuations as the item was linked to various "bad" things like "anti-freeze", "electronic cigarettes", "preservative", and so on.

And I'm not kidding, that was ALL the author wrote on MIO.

Clearly, the author has nothing bad to SAY about MiO, but the author wanted us to dislike MiO, so she chose to link MiO with a bunch of "bad words" but are still factual.

That is propaganda and manipulation.

This becomes obvious when you read the part about one of the items she DOES recommend...

While there are still more preservatives in here that we would like, at least it doesn't contain antifreeze and "weighting" agents. it has vegetable juice for color and Stevia Extract and cane sugar for sweetness.

Oh, so she's against "preservatives" and "antifreeze".

So she's against multi-use stuff, basically. If something can be used for something "good" and something "bad", she doesn't want it. She only wants stuff that can ONLY be used for "good", or what passes for "good" in her mind.

Guess that means she won't be using anything that contains propylene glycol, which includes

  • artificial tears
  • drugs in capsule form
  • drugs in tablet form
  • alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • vaporizers (health use)
  • most whipped dairy products (cream to ice cream)
  • most canned coffee drinks
  • most canned or bottled sodas
  • Oh, and beer. 
  • Oh, and no paint and no plastic either. Those may be made with propylene glycol. 
  • Guess that also precludes flying, since planes are de-iced with propylene glycol, aka anti-freeze! 

By the way, did you know Food Babe is against beer too because it contains propylene glycol?

But wait, she's not done! In the last product review, she outright called propylene glycol "one of the worst additives for your health, antifreeze". Is there any citing? Nope.

So what is the toxicity of propylene glycol?

ZERO, in expected dosage, as used for water enhancers.

Here's the toxicity report from CDC that cites FDA classification:
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified propylene glycol as "generally recognized as safe," which means that it is acceptable for use in flavorings, drugs, and cosmetics, and as a direct food additive. According to the World Health Organization, the acceptable dietary intake of propylene glycol is 25 mg of propylene glycol for every kilogram (kg) of body weight.
Propylene glycol is "generally recognized as safe", i.e. NOT POISONOUS in the amount typically used, i.e. a teeny weeny bit.

There is no doubt that if you over-indulge in ANYTHING, even just good old water, it can be bad for you. (Look up "water toxemia" if you don't believe me).

Yes, you CAN hurt yourself by taking in excess amounts of propylene glycol, but you pretty much have to consume like 1/4 of your body weight, at least in mice studies.

And just how much propylene glycol is there in ONE LITTLE SQUIRT (okay, 3, but I put 3 squirts in 32 oz of water, so the overall amount is minuscule), hmmm?

To me, it's pretty obvious that the author of this article is prejudiced toward preferring the "natural" entries (i.e. stevia and fruit-based entries) and needed to come up with something "bad" to say about the other entries but still wanted to sound "reasonably scientific".

Unfortunately, her scientific reasoning is about as sound as Food Babe's, and Food Babe was a fool soon exposed by real scientists all around the world.

It follows the same pattern: pick out the scary-looking ingredient, with a long chemical name, pick one of the alternate uses that sound gross, and emphasize the heck out of that.

Food Babe -- azo is used in Subway bread, but it's also used to make yoga mats!

EatThis writer -- propylene glycol is used in MiO, but it's also used as antifreeze!

And the logic is pure... crap.

Which only goes on to prove that you shouldn't trust EVERYTHING you read.

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