Taffi asks…Polyethylene glycol is listed as an ingredient in my vitamin. Does this mean it is pegylated? are pegylated ingredients harmful when ingested? I know ethoxylates can be toxic, but that might be minute exposure. Also, can emulsifying agents wear away fats/water from the body?
The Right Brain responds:
I think this Wikipedia article on ethoxylation does a nice job of addressing your questions your first question. The bottom line is these materials are not toxic. The potential danger of ethoxylated materials comes from contamination with a chemical called 1,4 dioxane. Most companies ensure their surfactants contain levels of 1,4 dioxane that are below the legal limit. See this article for an example.
Will emulsifiers “wear away” fat when you ingest them? No, for emulsifiers to work they must come into direct contact with the fat globules and surround them so they can be suspended in water. This surfactant-coated fat glob is called a “micelle.” When you ingest emulsifiers they break down so they do not reach body fat the same way they reach fats and oils when mixed into products.
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