God, Hope & Helping Others
By Dr. Mercola
By now you have probably seen the ads for MiO Liquid Water Enhancer, Kraft Foods' new gimmick aimed at young consumers seeking "cool" new ways to stand out among their peers. Leave it to the food and beverage industry to find a way to turn your perfectly healthful water into a mixture of toxic chemicals. This latest craze has you squeezing brightly colored flavor drops into your water from a cute little purse-sized bottle, and watching the mesmerizing nebula of color diffuse slowly into the clear water.
Very clever… a science experiment you can drink.
The market has been flooded with "functional waters," fortified (supposedly) with everything from vitamins and minerals to electrolytes, oxygen, fiber, and even protein. Supermarket beverage aisles can entice you along a virtual sea of beverage choices—energy drinks, vitamin waters, fitness waters, and sports/electrolyte concoctions in every imaginable color and flavor.
You can even buy a bottle of water infused with positive affirmations, said to "raise the consciousness of humanity" (Aquamantra). Or how about this one—bottled water fortified for your dog, called FortiFido?
But if you take a closer look at the labels, you'll discover they're spiking your punch with a lot of unsavory ingredients, many capable of wreaking havoc on your metabolism, hormones, and other physiological processes—and some of which are outright carcinogenic.
If you aren't already a label reader, it's time you became one, lest you fall prey to these clever marketing ploys.
Flashy labels, pretty colors, and seductive scents are not always harmless to your health—but they are incredibly alluring, especially to kids. Your child will be drawn in like an Emu to dangly earrings. So what's in this cute little bottle of liquid "water enhancer" with the equally cute name?
Here is the ingredient list for the Mango Peach variety of MiO:
Water, Malic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Citric Acid, "natural flavor," Sucralose, Acesulfame potassium, Potassium citrate, Polysorbate 60, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 40, Potassium Sorbate (preservative).
Basically, this is a scary mixture of TWO artificial sweeteners, THREE dyes, one preservative, and propylene glycol (PG)—a solvent that can potentially result in cell mutations and skin, liver, and kidney damage, if ingested in high enough amounts. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) rates propylene glycol as a moderate hazard.
Artificial sweeteners are bad news for your health (they can lead to impaired kidney function, depression, headaches, infertility, brain tumors, and a long list of other serious health problems) and are unnecessary food additives—because there are SAFE natural sweetener alternatives. This is such a huge issue that I wrote a book about it called Sweet Deception.
All artificial sweeteners are risky, and MiO contains TWO of them!
Let's look at the rap sheets for some of MiO's flavor "enhancements":
- Sucralose (an artificial sweetener otherwise known as Splenda) is associated with respiratory difficulties, migraines, seizures, gastrointestinal problems, heart palpitations, and weight gain, and the list of reported problems is growing by the day.
- Acesulfame potassium (or Acesulfame-K) is another artificial sweetener that has been linked to kidney tumors.
- Food dyes have been connected to a variety of health problems, including allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children, and numerous forms of cancer—and MiO has THREE of them.
- Polysorbate 60 is an emulsifying agent that, like PG, is rated as a moderate health concern by EWG and can be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4 dioxane, two carcinogenic industrial pollutants.
Now, why go to the trouble of purifying your water, only to dump right back into it what you have just filtered out—a bunch of toxic chemicals?
This makes NO sense at all.
But MiO is just one example of a much larger problem. Enhanced waters have become an enormously lucrative business as people have begun to abandon soda pop for what they believe are better alternatives. Beverage battles (and now, water wars) have left manufacturers clamoring to come up with products that outdo all the rest. Are these beverages really better for you than soda? Not by a long shot.