One of America’s candy classics might be doing more than satisfying your sweet-tooth craving, according to reviews on Amazon. The little colorful Haribo Gummi Bears added more than flavor to the palates of many. Consumers on Amazon's reviews for the product wrote about the little kick to their bowels they received. The Gummi Bears may most likely have a laxative effect because of one ingredient, Lycasin, a sugar substitute.
The sugar-free version of the Gummi Bears gained popularity all over the Internet after users started complaining of their laxative-like side effects. Some even went as far as calling it a “nightmare that became reality”. “I sat on the bowl, in unbelievable bad pain,” described user, Brody Banta. “Then, it happened it felt like I was firing out hot liquid magma.”
“The side effects are enough to make you change your sweet tooth ways,” said another user, Mike Allen. However, others praised the Gummi Bears, claiming that even though they did have those nasty side-effects it was a quick way to lose weight, and it was a perfect cleanse prior to undergoing a colonoscopy.
Haribo does not claim responsibility for consumers' sickness, as their safety warning clearly states that there is a potential for unpleasant side effects. “Consumption of some sugar-free candies may cause stomach discomfort and/or a laxative effect,” it states.
According to a study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Lycasin does indeed have a laxative effect, which explains the extreme bowel urgency that many might face. Other gastrointestinal responses can also occur when sucrose, a sugar, and isomalt, a sugar alcohol, are present.
In order to avoid situations like this, health care professionals suggest cutting back on the food rather than opting for a sugar substitute. “The American Heart Association and American Diabetes Association have given a cautious nod to the use of artificial sweeteners in place of sugar to combat obesity, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes, all risk factors for heart disease,” said Holly Strawbridge, Former Editor, Harvard Health.
It is a cautious nod because people might fool themselves into thinking they are eating healthier, but in reality less calories do not equate to healthy eating habits. Other sugar-free candies that might have the same effects as the Haribo Gummi Bears when eaten in large quantities include: Jelly Belly Sugar Free Gummi Bears Bag, Red Vines Sugar Free Vines, and LifeSavers Sugar Free Hard Candy. Large quantities refers to eating more than the serving size at a time.
While they might not cause any long term damage, they can lead to discomfort and some Amazon users plan on taking advantage of this. "I bought one order for the Westboro Baptist Church as a donation, because we all know how much God hates irregularity," another user wrote.