Glycol

Sugar Alcohols

Potentially Harmful

Details

Definition
A type of sugar alcohol: a hybrid of sugar and alcohol molecules used as a low calorie substitute for sugar. Propylene Glycol is a synthetic, colorless, odorless, tasteless liquid that belongs to the same chemical class as alcohol. It is used as a food additive used to preserve moisture and dissolve colors and flavors. It is also found in medications, cosmetics, antifreeze and other industrial products.
AKAs
-
Health Impact
Although typically considered safe in small amounts, over consumption of propylene glycol is toxic to the body, and can lead to a buildup of lactic acid that causes acidosis and kidney failure. This is especially concerning with people who already have kidney or liver disease, as their process of clearing toxic substances is not as efficient. Pregnant women and infants are also at higher risk of developing toxicity if exposed to large amounts. There are also many people considered allergic to propylene glycol who may develop a rash when coming into contact with it. In others, it can cause digestive issues and discomfort such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and stomach pain.

Sources

A toxicological review of the propylene glycols
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23656560/
Propylene Glycol Poisoning From Excess Whiskey Ingestion
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4748503/
Propylene Glycol in Contact Dermatitis: A Systematic Review
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29064881/

Sign up for exclusive content and insights

Level up your grocery game