If you grew up in America and took vitamins as a child, chances are they were of the Flintstones variety. They’re by far the most popular children’s vitamin on the market and for good reason – They taste like candy, and of course, they’re in the shape of everyone’s favorite prehistoric cartoon characters.
But are they actually good for you?
On the surface, it might seem so. Pharmaceutical giant Bayer, the company behind Flintstones vitamins, proudly touts them as “Paediatricians’ #1 Choice.”
And besides, they fill a nutritional void, don’t they? As the Flintstones product page reads:
“82% of kids aren’t eating all of their veggies. Without enough vegetables, kids may not be getting all of the nutrients they need.”
But do kids need the following?
- Cupric Oxide
- Artificial coloring agents
- Ferrous Fumarate
- Hydrogenated Oil
- GMO Corn Starch
Most parents would keep their kids far away from any product with even half of those ingredients in it. And yet millions of kids are chewing on Flintstones multivitamins daily, ingesting those very ingredients.
And what’s the harm? Let’s explore.
Aspartame, also found in diet soda, is one of the most popular artificial sweeteners around. Since it was first introduced in 1980, links have been drawn between aspartame and many ailments, including cancer, seizures, headaches, depression, ADD, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
It is also linked to diabetes and increased gut bacteria.
You know those toxic ingredients that other countries, like those in the EU, are smart enough to ban, but the U.S. keeps shoveling down consumers’ throats?
Cupric Oxide is one of them.
It’s dangerous to both humans and the environment and has industrial applications like pigmentation in ceramics and dry cell battery production.
Bayer insists it is a mineral but hey, so is mercury.
Artificial Coloring Agents
Artificial food dyes are connected to ADHD, particularly in kids. To make matters worse, their toxicity is increased when combined with aspartame.
Sorbitol is a synthetic sugar substitute found in Flintstones vitamins. No wonder they’re so sweet!
It is technically a sugar alcohol that takes a long time to be metabolized by the body. It also functions as a laxative.
In addition, it’s one of the ingredients that makes overdosing on Flintstones vitamins an issue — It can lead to abdominal pain, flatulence and diarrhea. And it’s a lot easier to overdose than you might think.
Overdose of this form of iron is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in kids under 6.
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Don’t be fooled into thinking that because it has soybeans in it, it’s healthy.
Over 90% of soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified. This has led to allergies, sterility and birth defects. In addition, soybean crops are sprayed with tons of chemical herbicides like known carcinogen glyphosate.
GMO Corn Starch
Bayer, the maker of Flintstones vitamins, is a huge supporter of anti-GMO labelling. They’ve pumped $381,600 into defeating GMO labelling efforts in the state of California.
That’s no surprise, since they use GMO corn starch in their vitamins.
Why buy manufactured vitamins for your kids anyway?
If you want to give your kids healthy vitamins, why not just provide them with organic produce? Think they need more vitamin C? Peel an orange. Want them to get more iron? Give them some spinach.
It’s about more than providing them the nutrients they need. It’s about raising them in a way that shows reaching for pills should not be the go-to solution for every ailment.
You can start with prevention.
Start by cutting these products out of your kids’ diet. The need for artificial vitamins decreases once their diet gets an overhaul.