|Written by NHA|
|Friday, 11 February 2011 10:55|
Mannitol, the active ingredient in Aridol, acts as a bronchoconstrictor and may cause severe bronchospasm.
Bronchial challenge testing with Aridol is deliberately done for diagnostic purposes, and is conducted by persons familiar with the management of acute bronchospasm. Medications (such as short acting inhaled beta-agonist) and equipment to treat severe bronchospasm must be present in the testing area because Mannitol can cause such severe reactions. In plants, it us used to induce osmotic stress. Mannitol increases water and Na+ excretion, thereby decreasing extracellular fluid volume.
So what's it doing being used as a food additive? “Made from fruits” isn't really reassuring in itself because cyanide can be made from fruits and I don't want that in my dinner. “Occurs naturally in many plants” isn't comforting either because it doesn't occur in its synthetic, processed, hydrogenated form in plants (or it may well kill them).
If severe bronchospasm occurs in diagnostic testing it can be treated immediately by administration of a short acting inhaled beta-agonist, but because of this potential, Mannitol is in no way safe as a food additive.
It's now being used as a sweetener in 'diet' products and in processed foods, and as a 'piggyback' molecule to get medications across the blood brain barrier.
For those with bronchial problems already or those who have taken respiratory suppressants (e.g., alcohol, benzodiazepines, morphine, codeine & other opiates), Mannitol could cause death.
If you think you may be developing asthma, have started 'wheezing' or have more difficulty breathing than formerly, check the contents of your chewing gum.