FDA Investigating Laxative Ingredient's Safety
Jan. 6, 2015 -- The safety of an ingredient in an adult laxative commonly given to children is being investigated, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.
Polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350) is the active ingredient in Miralax and similar generic products that are given to constipated children, sometimes daily for years. However, the FDA has never approved long-term daily use of the laxatives in adults or children, The New York Times reported.
While it's widely believed that very little PEG 3350 is absorbed into the intestines, there is little data on its absorption in children, especially the very young and chronically constipated , according to the FDA.
Also, the agency has received some reports of tremors, tics and obsessive-compulsive behavior in youngsters taking laxatives with PEG 3350. It's not clear whether these problems are caused by the laxatives, The Times reported.
The FDA-funded Children's Hospital of Philadelphia study will examine whether PEG 3350 might be absorbed by very young children and whether the use of laxatives with PEG 3350 is associated with psychiatric problems.
5 Healthy Eating Habits To Adopt This Year
Americans are eating far too many refined grains, including white versions of bread, pasta, rice, crackers and pretzels, in addition to baked goods and cereals made with refined starch. The intake of whole grains, like brown rice, whole wheat and quinoa is on the rise, yet the average intake of whole grains in the U.S. is less than one serving a day. Research shows that a higher whole grain intake is tied to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity . The latter may be because whole grains are filling -- their fiber helps delay stomach emptying, which keeps you fuller longer, delays the return of hunger and helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, which are tied to appetite regulation.
In 2015, strive to replace refined grains -- which have been stripped of their fiber and natural nutrients -- with 100 percent whole grain options (including gluten-free varieties if you need to or prefer to go gluten-free). Or choose non-grain nutrient-rich starches, such as skin-on potatoes, root vegetables, squash, beans and lentils. If weight loss is a goal, moderate your portions rather than cutting out carbs altogether so you don't miss out on the nutrients and sustained energy they provide, which are important for enhancing mood and exercise endurance -- two other keys to successfully shedding pounds.