If you’re like many Americans today, chance are you’re growing increasingly wary of Big Pharma.
Big Pharma is a catch-all term for the pharmaceutical industry.
The reason people are growingly increasingly skeptical of Big Pharma is that people realize many times the pharmaceutic companies are pushing products in the name of profits… and at the expense of the health of those they claim they’re helping.
Now there’s a new reason to beware of anything made by Big Pharma. It turns out there could potentially harmful allergens inside of the products you’re using.
93% of Medicines Are Contaminated
A recent study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology investigated how additives in many common prescriptions as well as over the counter drugs could be harming the general population.
These additives have varying purposes. Some of them are added to help pills absorb more quickly; others help to stabilize active ingredients so they don’t turn bad.
And others are added to enhance the appearance or taste of a product. Whatever the reason, these ingredients aren’t commonly listed on the packaging, this could prove harmful to consumers.
The reason the study came about is the lead author, Giovanni Traverso, noticed that a celiac patient of his was displaying classic cases of gluten exposure after being given a common PPI called Omeprazole.
The general population handles this drug without issue. But this patient who has obvious sensitive to gluten of any kind was doing very poorly with it.
Traverso looked into the constituent ingredients of Omeprazole and discovered that additives in it were derived from wheat products, which could contain gluten.
“That really brought it home to me as far as how little we know about tablets and the potential adverse effects they might have. I think there’s a tremendous underappreciation of the potential impact that inactive ingredients may have,” said Traverso.
It’s Scary How Common These Additives Are
The reason the study matters is simple. While many people won’t notice if there’s some kind of additive in their drugs, there is a subset whose extremely sensitive to certain ingredients. And a lack of transparency on what’s in pills could end up making people really sick.
Tim Newman writes “To investigate, the scientists pored over medical journals, searching for examples of allergic reactions to inactive ingredients in medications. They also scoured a database called Pillbox, which the National Library of Medicine run. Here, they were able to see the full ingredients of all medicines for sale in the United States — both over-the-counter and prescription.
They found that, in most cases, more than half of each pill consists of inactive ingredients. In some cases, they considered as much as 99 percent of the pill to be nonpharmaceutical.
Worryingly, they discovered that 93 percent of medications contain allergens, including lactose, dyes, and peanut oil. Almost all medicines contain ingredients that some people might not be able to tolerate, such as gluten.
More than half of medications contain FODMAP sugars that trigger digestive problems in some individuals with irritable bowel syndrome.
Although drugs that contain peanut oil always come with a warning on the packaging, the same is not true for any of the other ingredients. Making sense of the ingredients is challenging, and even if someone manages to spot an allergen in their pills, there is no guarantee that they will be able to find a version of the medicine that does not include the allergen.”
The researchers believe their research should be taken seriously and they hope by bringing awareness to the issue manufacturers and customers can be more involved in making smart choices about drugs. The truth is allergy levels are on the rise globally.
Correspondingly the reactions some people have to once benign ingredients also is starting to ramp up. The need for transparency would serve those with allergies in untold ways.