Gas-X Ingredients – Are They Safe?
Gas-X is one of the most well known brands of over the counter medicine indicated for the relief of stomach gas. The Gas-X product line contains a wide variety of medications suitable for just about everyone experiencing stomach gas pain and discomfort. Gas-X Softgels are convenient and easy to take, and chewables afford the same relief for those who can not swallow pills. The liquid product is considered the fastest acting form, outdone only by their fast dissolving strips that make gas relief on the go practical and expedient. In terms of active Gas-X ingredients, simethicone is the one that provides relief for gas symptoms.
Abdominal gas is caused by many things, but most commonly, it is a by-product of food break down during digestion or a result of extra swallowed air, according to The Mayo Clinic. Everybody encounters gas, although certain things are thought to bring it about more frequently such as using straws, wearing loose dentures, smoking and chewing gum. All of these can contribute to eating extra air, which can build up in the digestive tract only to be released later (and, often at the most inopportune of times). There is another common cause of abdominal gas however, and that is food sources of gassiness.
Many foods that are eaten everyday can be considered gassy foods. And, surprisingly enough, most of them are actually considered to be healthy foods. Those rich in fiber like bran and skinned fruits are common culprits. And of course, fiber filled beans, notorious for their ability to bring on a butt symphony, can be considered gassy foods as well. When these are consumed, Gas-X ingredients like simethicone can provide fast relief from the buildup of gas in the digestive system.
Gas-X is considered a safe medication and no Gas-X side effects are listed for the medication. Additionally, there are no drug or health condition interactions to be aware of regarding active Gas-X ingredients. However, what about that long list of inactive ingredients on the label. Are those also considered safe? Sorbitol is one ingredient that is used in the manufacture of Gas-X as is evident on the product’s label. Sorbitol is a sugar substitute, but it also has laxative properties. And, while causing poop problems may not seem like a big deal, those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or other gastrointestinal problems may find their symptoms worsened by sorbitol.
A tendency towards loose stools is not the only problem that can be found amongst Gas-X ingredients. Artificial colors have made big news lately for their potential effects on health and few are more notorious than FD&C 40. While most of the hype about Red Dye 40 is little more than media frenzy, the food coloring’s ability to induce allergy symptoms can be very real in some sensitive people. Symptoms of sensitivity to food colorings can vary dramatically from person to person including everything from dizziness to indigestion.
Titanium dioxide may be one of the most sinister of Gas-X ingredients in the inactive category, although little is still known about its true health risks. When most people think of titanium dioxide, they think of sunscreen, one of its most common applications. When used in medicine, the oxide is not in a powdered form. But, research has shown that inhalation of powdered titanium dioxide can lead to cancer in rats. Studies are still underway to determine the exact risk to humans in various forms of titanium dioxide.
So, while Gas-X is considered a safe and effective remedy for abdominal gas, it is worth considering that the inactive ingredient list on the medicine’s label may deserve a second look. Most of the non-functional ingredients included in Gas-X are safe. But, there are some that may be a little more ominous than their “inactive” labeling may indicate.