How to know if a synthetic ingredient is safe.

Often times a product will contain a variety of supplements at the end of an ingredient panel.  It’s usually difficult to know if these ingredients are ok and easy to assume that they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t safe and beneficial.  Here are a few facts that may assist you in knowing how to find out what you’re really getting:

  1. Products do not list nutrients contained within the food ingredients on the ingredient panel.  If it’s listed as an ingredient it is added to the food.  If it is a nutrient found within the ingredients of the product it will be found under Nutrition Facts or Supplement Facts.
  2. In most cases there are regulations for what supplements are legally allowed to be made out of, especially in the case of pet feed, but also in the case of some human products.  This regulation can assist with standardization but can also cause a host of concerns for consumers.
  3. An example of a supplement that appears to be natural, safe and beneficial is TAURINE – officially Taurine (T6.12) is required to be a minimum of 97% of 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid which, according to ChemicalBook.com is a “Drug; MutagenReproductive Effector” and “…may cause irritation of the digestive tract. The toxicological properties of this substance have not been fully investigated.” This is a standard synthetic ingredient that is actually mandatory to use as a supplement for cats.  Any consumer would believe this would be a safe ingredient but the truth is the opposite.
  4. To view synthetic ingredients and their scientific information always Google “__(ingredient name)   “ followed by “MSDS.”  You’ll see most are not tested for safety at all.  In some, they say there is no data on effects on animals then within toxicological information it will say, “toxic to animals” but it is approved for use in animal feeds because the toxicity information is not distributed throughout the official MSDS form, opting to instead read as “N/D” or No Data.
  5. Utilizing MSDS reports is one way to ensure safer ingredients.  Also calling the company and asking can be beneficial.

Some synthetics to consider:

  • Vitamin E is usually made from Genetically Modified Soybeans and preserved with Propylene Glycol
  • Vitamin C is usually made from a Mold
  • Methionine is made from bio-engineered e.coli

… always do your research before committing to a product and assuming it is safe.

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