I was in Target yesterday, and in addition to some sundries, I grabbed a two-pack of Wrigley's Eclipse Mints (Winterfrost flavor).
As I've mentioned before, I like gum and tins that could be used to hold things (including gum). So I was primarily interested in the tin:
Anyway, since I just wanted the tin, I powered through most of the mints over the afternoon (the "smooth mouth experience and distinctly cool flavor sensation" is addicting), then went to Mexican restaurant Teocalli Tamale in Herndon for lunch.
Later on, when I was at home, I suffered some major intestinal distress. Fairly or not, I blamed the restaurant and thought I had picked up some mild, run-of-the-mill food poisoning, or maybe just had a tough time with beans and hot sauce.
It was not particularly fun.
Today, I finished off the other tin (remember, it was a 2-pack). This was followed by another period of fun.
Since I am not a complete idiot, I figured out that it was probably the mints.
I took a look at the ingredients, and the first listed ingredient is the sweetener Sorbitol, which is a sugar alcohol that the body doesn't absorb well.
(Incidentally, "sugar alcohol" sounds like it should be a lot more fun than it actually is.)
Hrm, a substitute ingredient that's used precisely because the body doesn't absorb it well. That sounds kind of familiar. Kind of like... Olestra.
Here's what the Center for Science in the Public Interest (you usually hear them rousing rabble about junk food) has to say about Sorbitol. It's in an unappealingly-titled item, "Consumer Group Petitions FDA to Require "Diarrhea" Notice on Foods that Contain Sorbitol":
So a 50-mint tin has about 34 grams of Sorbitol. Which is apparently enough to ruin a good portion of your afternoon.
While the Eclipse mint tin is pretty nice, I think it would be even nicer if it had a warning that says "May cause intenstinal distress. Do not eat more than 10 per day."
I do note that the Altoids sugar-free Smalls mints also contain Sorbitol, though I don't remember if they gave me trouble, too.
that's sick, thanks for info.
I can confirm this is true. Lets just say I really, REALLY like the Cinnamon flavor. Not fun.
Ditto on the cinnamon flavor. I, too, just ate a tin through out this morning and found out the consequences myself before searching the internet and finding this article.
They should just cut out the middleman and market it as toilet bowl cleaner.
I'm totally addicted. I go through one to two tins a day. I can't give them up....no matter how many bathroom breaks I need each day!!!
Are we sure it's the mints that we're addicted to?
I eat these all the time...this is an awesome post
I caught part of a House rerun last night -- a flight attendant (male, as it was) was in the clinic saying that his quitting smoking was causing him intestinal problems. Turned out it was his incessant chewing of Sorbitol gum.
Yeah well its all well and good for us adults.... however my son ate 10 today... sneakily found them in my handbag! Hes 2!!! Nappies...not nice!!
Some sort of mention on the tin wouldve helped our panicked household!!
I also find it strange that some chewing gum has the warning
excessive consumption may have a laxative effect and the mints do not have the same warning.
These mints have given me dizzyness, a feeling of tension in my head, and fatigue. It took me a while to realize what was zapping my energy. In addition to sucralose it contains acesulfame potassium. The sucralose can cause problems with the thymus.
I eat Eclipse Mints all the time. And these always give me diarrhea. I HAVE to eat mints though as I suck on minty stuff to deal with anxiety. But I'm thinking about switching.
I am also a victim of the cinnamon eclipse mint. I was just chewing on them whilst writing an essay and now im in agony and cannot sleep ><
Zantac, tums, degas, panadol are all ineffective in removing the intestinal pain T_T
bad thing is most people wont see this article until they have experienced it them selves and its too late!
Poor you, that sounds awful! Thanks for being the search I went to about how many of these I can have in a day. I think I'll stop at the 3 I am up to now. Hope you never have anything like that happen again.
But the mints do say that they could cause a laxative effect....
oh crud...i just ate half a pack :(
I eat them all day,.. everyday,.. and suffer no ill effects at all,... my only criticism is that the ingredients are not listed on the tin which I would think was against the law. I would like to know if they're fattening because I am addicted to them. My other concern is that they are made in china where melamine is put into a lot of products so I hope I'm not inadvertently killing myself with my high consumption ???
My bottom's been projectile vomiting for two days!! Never downing a tin of these again!! Boycotting all things sorbitol for LIFE!!
groan.... gotta run..
It does say on many tins, and on all the plastic wrapping "Excess consumption may have a laxative effect". This is foudnon many sugar-free mint and chewy packets. Usually followed by "Contains phenylalanine" Its the phenylalanine that causes the laxative effect. Its also found in diet drinks.
Dude I have had such a bad stomach for ages and it also causes moderate diarreah for so long.
It hurts so much.
I can vouch- it's really hurting man. Think it's almost over. F@$ck. Ouch oooo ahhhh.
Well, I just ate a shit load of mints and am suffering! At first I thought it was food poisoning, but later remembered that a dr. I had previously worked for always used to get onto us for chewing gum with sorbitol in the ingredients. TAKE CHARCOAL TABLETS! you can buy them at wal-mart. It helped me phenomenally. I take them for the stomach flu aswell, and it always eases my vomitting. I also take asodopholis regularly, it also helps. Feel better, my fellow sorbitol intolerant friends :)
Yes, the Eclipse mints are definitely rather, err, "cleansing" for the bowels....I find that if I eat more than 8 in one go, my stomach starts churning, and I feel ill for the rest of the day. But I've never had to spend the afternoon in the bathroom, thank god.
i have no problems with eating so many eclipse mints in a day
hmm.. very interesting and informative... sadly prior to reading this i had consumed 2 packet's of the mint's :/ i'm going to have a wonderful night!
Dont eat anything your Granny wouldn't
recognize as food! Microwave Popcorn is another poison we have been sold. Now turns out it causes severe serious lung disease. We are too trusting!
I read this... a few hours after eating a box of Eclipse mints myself.
Let's just say, it's not fun.
Everything old is new again: Might want to stay from Orbit White gum, too.
where does it say on the packet dont drive while eatings mints? i was put on the breath tester and blew .273 and was almost charged with dui i want a answer on this
Interesting. At first I assumed you were full of it, but I did some quick looking around about the effect of sugar alcohols on breathalyzers.
Consensus seems to be that sugar alcohols shouldn't affect breathalyzers, since it's not the same as ethanol (which is what a breathalyzer looks for).
However, other things people say affect BAC readings include mouthwashes, being diabetic, smoking, and exposure to certain solvents.
So, I don't know why you blew a .273. Sorry and good luck.
I eat one pack everyday and I don't have this problem
I blew a pack with my friends is that ok? O.o we only ate like... 3-8 each O.O
Lukily i saw this before i ate 10 mints a day. On my 6th mint now. Phew. XD
I had simular mints with the sorbitol too..and main ingredient was aspartame. I downed a 49 mint tin.. I was so sick on the car ride back. I was so tired I was falling asleep on the car door & when I was let out I puked and puked. It was such an awful feeling.. mint & vile coming up. ugh ew. never again!
The worseeeeeeeeeeee! Currently suffering from eating a tin today.
Me and my friend had a tin each of the spearmint ones on our over night hike with school, let's just say I didn't go to school for the rest of the week :/ ;)
I just had an afternoon of 'fun' with eclipse mints by accident. I cried laughing reading your post. So glad you shared your experience. My horrible solitary afternoon suddenly became a shared experience. Thanks.
B.S. I've been eating these things for years with no side effects.
I too have been eating 25+ a day for years now and have never had any of the above mentioned problems.
My problem now is...I can't find any! Have they been discontinued?!?
I picked up a tin of 49 up in Montreal over last weekend and today I realized that the tin was actually mints... I thought it was a pack of gum... The tin kind of looks like a pack of extra chewing gum...
However I though I had some type of food poisoning.. Iv never had this type of diarrhea before... My farts have never been so loud! LOL
The effects of the sorbitol are far from universal.
I've experienced nothing at all from burning through 2 tins of Eclipse mints a day for months.
However, I did get nailed after sucking down a couple rolls of breathsavers in one morning.
I think all this dicking around with sweeteners would cease if they'd just go back to saccharine or cyclamates. Both of those artifical sweeteners are used world wide and have been for many decades resulting in no increase in untoward deaths/sicknesses/cancers/etc. ude to the sweeteners.
I have been through blood tests, ultra-sound, cat-scan and xrays to try to determine what rare dasease or condition I had developed just to find out My body is completely intolerant to sorbitol and I can no longer eat two tins a day of eclipse peppermint. P.S. Also causes violent vomitingjoiera
Sucks that i just read this but I too blasted through some mints and not just one tin but 3 and now i am paying the consequences of the ALTOIDS *sigh* wish me luck.
Ahhhhhh! How long will this last!?!?
Thank God I read this. While at the grocery store counter I saw some Werthers Originals Minis, they ony had sugar free. I buy them, take them home and over a course of about 4-6 hours eat all 15 mini candies. 4 am comes around and next thing I know I am very, very ill. I thought I had food poising but ramen and vegetables do not really strike a food poising flag to me. I think realized the only other thing I ate was sugar free candies. I am going to buy my husband a 5 pound sugar free gummy bear bag and watch the magic unfold. >=D
I ate a whole tin of a similar mint and I got a free 20 minutes on the toilet when it was time for me to go to sleep. I even had to go during the night.
I love mint but I don't like the consequences.
I have been consuming Blitz mints like they were going out of fashion and suddenly put on 12kilos in weight....... I have tried numerous diets to lose the weight but have not lost even 1/2 a gram....... Prior to that my weight was normal and I ate normal food without putting on any weight.........I think it must be the sorbital and I can also say I have become addicted to the mints as even though I stopped them cold turkey I am constantly pining for them!!!!!
All I can say is Do not consume them !.
i ate one pack in what three days so thats around 15 a day excluding the ones my friends eat and so far im good
i love mints they're awesome
Im pregnant an eclipse mints is my craving, i know im going to get a sore gutt but just cant resist. My partner dreads it as ill consume 1-2 tins a day. He says my breath smells minty fresh yet when i let one rip (uncontrollably) its worse than someone who has just had baked beans an eggs on toast lol
oh crap i literally just ate a whole tin of the berry flavor while reading this, and i had eaten a whole one yesterday as well, there like my drug. hope i dont regret it
You have no idea how you have helped me with this post. I was rushed to the ER earlier this week. I was in the hospital for 2 days very ill. I had non-stop diarrhea for 6 days. This was the 3rd time in 6 months and I gave had a random rotten egg smell seep from me since 2001. I could never figure it out. I have gotten sicker over the years - diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, chest tightness, the smell. At the hospital they did all sorts of blood tests, stool and urine checked, CT scan and colonoscopy. I have ersion and bad infection in my small intestines. I eat so clean, workout and drink tons of water. I started to think what could it be? BINGO I am addicted to sugar free Ice Breakers. I ear tons of them daily and have for many years. SORBITOL is the culprit! Thanks for helping me finally solve this medical mystery. The antiobiotics are clearing up the infection in my small intestines and I haven't eaten a mint in a week. I haven't felt this AMAZING in years. THANK YOY! THANK YOU! I CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH!!!!!
Great if ur constipated
Thank you for this! Someone I know has been soooo addicted to mints and has had the worst symptoms. Vomiting, diarrhea, gas and burping. She thought she went through so many tests but everything came out negative. You have no idea how helpful this was, thank you so much!
Sadly, I saw this right after I devoured a 53 pack. Wish me luck.
I also recently learned that Sorbitol was the cause of my persistent oral thrush. There is something about it that helps candida adhere to the oral cavity. Since I've stopped using the gum and mints with Sorbitol the thrush has cleared up. I believe it also gave me digestive distress and shakiness. Good riddance to Sorbitol!
When i eat the peppermint ones while driving I become instantly drowsy It never happened with the spearmint ones. I wonder what the difference is. Have given them up. Too dangerous for me while driving.
My god you are perfection. This was so damn hilarious because I can entirely relate. The other night I got stoned and I literally ate 2 tins of eclipse. My life has been nothing but horror scenes ever since.
Icebreaker's Duo .-. RIP my intestines.
You don't even have to go through a whole tin for there to be an effect. I ate maybe about 5-10 in an hour stretch, some time around midday, and was left in distress for the rest of the afternoon.
These were the apple-flavoured mint kind. Maybe they are worse.
I am addicted to the Myntz and last night my stomack was hurting me very bad, thanks God I find out about the sorbitol and I will return 3 bags to Trader Joe next time
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