What Gummy Bears Have in Common with Laxatives

Did you know that the popular candy gummy bears have something in common with laxatives? Although it may seem like an odd comparison, the two products share a key ingredient that can affect your digestive system: polyols.

Polyols are sugar alcohols that are used as a sweetener in many sugar-free and low-calorie foods, including gummy bears. They are also commonly found in laxatives because they have a laxative effect when consumed in large amounts.

While the amount of polyols in gummy bears is not enough to cause a laxative effect, consuming large quantities of them can lead to digestive discomfort such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. This is why it’s important to consume sugar-free and low-calorie foods in moderation.

So, next time you reach for a bag of gummy bears, remember that they may have more in common with laxatives than you think.

The Surprising Similarities

Gummy Bears and Laxatives: Both Contain Gelatin

Believe it or not, both gummy bears and laxatives have one ingredient in common – gelatin. Gelatin is a protein derived from collagen, and it’s commonly used as a gelling agent in gummies and other candies. Laxatives, on the other hand, use gelatin as a coating for the active ingredients to help them pass through the stomach and into the intestines without being broken down.

The Role of Sugar and Sorbitol

Another similarity between gummy bears and laxatives is that they both contain sugar and sorbitol. Gummy bears are known for their sweetness, and it’s typically due to the high sugar content. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that’s used in sugar-free gummies as a sweetener, and it’s also found in laxatives for its laxative effects. Sorbitol is a type of osmotic laxative, which means it draws water into the intestines to help soften stools and promote bowel movements.


While gummy bears and laxatives may seem like two completely different things, they actually have a surprising number of similarities. From gelatin to sugar and sorbitol, these ingredients are used in both gummies and laxatives for their unique properties. Whether you have a sweet tooth or need some help with digestive issues, it’s interesting to know that these two seemingly unrelated products share some common ground.

The Science Behind It

Effect of Sugar Alcohol

Gummy bears and other sugar-free candies often contain a type of sugar alcohol called maltitol. Sugar alcohols are commonly used as sweeteners in sugar-free products because they have fewer calories and do not raise blood sugar levels as much as regular sugar. However, sugar alcohols can also have a laxative effect when consumed in large amounts. Maltitol is not fully absorbed by the small intestine, which means that it can ferment in the colon and cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Dosage and Individual Differences

The laxative effect of sugar alcohols like maltitol depends on several factors, including the dosage and the individual’s sensitivity to them. The acceptable daily intake of maltitol is around 90 mg per kilogram of body weight, but consuming more than this amount can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. Some people may be more susceptible to the laxative effect of sugar alcohols than others, depending on their gut microbiome and digestive system.

Alternatives to Sugar Alcohols

If you are sensitive to sugar alcohols or want to avoid the laxative effect of sugar-free candy, there are some alternatives. One option is to choose candies made with natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit extract, which do not have a laxative effect. Another option is to limit your intake of candy and other sweet treats and focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods instead. Remember, even sugar-free candy should be consumed in moderation to maintain a healthy diet.

The Role of Sugar Alcohols

What are Sugar Alcohols?

Sugar alcohols, also known as polyols, are a type of sweetener commonly used in sugar-free candies, gums, and other products. They are derived from sugars, but they have a different chemical structure that makes them less likely to cause cavities and have a lower glycemic index than regular sugars.

How do Sugar Alcohols work?

When sugar alcohols are consumed, they are only partially absorbed by the body, which means they do not raise blood sugar levels as much as regular sugars. They also have fewer calories than regular sugar, which can make them an attractive alternative for people looking to reduce their calorie intake.

Sugar alcohols are not completely absorbed by the body, which means they can cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea if consumed in large quantities. However, they are generally considered safe for consumption in moderation.

Common Sugar Alcohols

  • Xylitol
  • Erythritol
  • Sorbitol
  • Mannitol
  • Lactitol

Each sugar alcohol has its own unique characteristics, including sweetness level and how the body responds to it. Some sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, are beneficial for dental health because they do not promote bacteria growth in the mouth.

Sugar Alcohol Sweetness compared to Sugar Calories per gram Glycemic Index
Xylitol 1:1 2.4 7
Erythritol 0.7:1 0.2 0
Sorbitol 0.6:1 2.6 9
Mannitol 0.5:1 1.6 0
Lactitol 0.4:1 2 3

It is important to note that despite being lower in calories than regular sugar, sugar alcohols should still be consumed in moderation. They can still have calorie content and affect blood sugar levels if consumed in large quantities.

The Connection to Digestive Health

The Importance of Digestive Health

Maintaining good digestive health is essential for overall well-being. The digestive system breaks down food and absorbs nutrients that the body needs to function properly. When the digestive system isn’t working correctly, it can lead to a variety of health problems.

Gummy Bears and Digestive Health

Gummy bears are made with gelatin, a protein that comes from animal collagen. Gelatin is not only a popular ingredient in candy, but it’s also used in certain medications and supplements to help improve digestive health. The reason gelatin is beneficial to the digestive system is that it contains amino acids that help repair and protect the gut lining.

The Role of Laxatives in Digestive Health

Laxatives are often used to treat constipation, a condition that can occur when waste moves too slowly through the digestive tract. While there are many different types of laxatives, some of them work by drawing water into the colon and softening the stool. This can help make it easier to pass stool and alleviate constipation.

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In conclusion, gummy bears and laxatives have a connection to digestive health. Gummy bears contain gelatin, which can help repair and protect the gut lining, while laxatives are often used to treat constipation caused by digestive problems. It’s essential to prioritize digestive health by eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and getting enough fiber in the diet to help promote regular bowel movements.

The Effects on the Body

1. Digestive System

Consuming large amounts of gummy bears or any candy that contains sugar alcohols can cause digestive issues. Sugar alcohols are not easily absorbed by the body, which means they can end up sitting in the digestive tract and fermenting, causing gas, bloating, and diarrhea.

Additionally, laxatives like sorbitol and maltitol, which are commonly found in gummy bears, can cause your intestines to release water into your bowels, leading to loose or watery stools. This effect can be amplified if you consume large amounts of gummy bears or if you’re already prone to digestive issues.

2. Blood Sugar Levels

Gummy bears contain a significant amount of simple carbohydrates, such as glucose and sucrose, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. This can be particularly problematic for individuals with diabetes. Consuming gummy bears in moderation may not have a significant impact on blood sugar, but excessive consumption can lead to hyperglycemia, which can have serious health consequences.

3. Tooth Decay

Gummy bears and other gummy candies stick to your teeth, promoting the growth of bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria can produce acid, which can lead to tooth decay over time. If you consume gummy bears regularly, it’s important to practice good oral hygiene and see your dentist regularly to minimize the risk of tooth decay.

4. Nutritional Value

Gummy bears and other sweets are not a significant source of nutritional value. They are typically high in calories and contain little to no vitamins or minerals. Consuming too many sweets can have a negative impact on your overall health and can lead to weight gain and other health issues.

Summary of Effects
Effect Cause
Digestive Issues Excessive amounts of sugar alcohols and laxatives
Blood Sugar Spike High amount of simple carbohydrates
Tooth Decay Bacteria growth promoted by sticking to teeth
Low Nutritional Value High calorie content, little to no vitamins or minerals

The Importance of Proper Dosage

Understanding Dosage

Proper dosage is crucial when it comes to taking any medication or supplement, including laxatives. Dosage refers to the amount of a substance that should be taken at a specific time for a particular purpose. For laxatives, the dosage depends on various factors, including age, weight, and the severity of the condition.

Risks of Improper Dosage

Taking laxatives in the wrong dosage can lead to adverse effects such as diarrhea, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances. Overuse of laxatives can also lead to dependence and damage to the intestinal muscles, which can result in chronic constipation. It is essential to follow the recommended dosage to avoid these risks.

Always Read and Follow the Label

When taking any medication or supplement, it is crucial to read and follow the label’s instructions. The package insert provides information on the recommended dosage, potential side effects, and contraindications. Always consult with a healthcare provider before taking any laxative if you have underlying medical conditions or are taking other medications.

Consult with a Healthcare Provider

If you are unsure about the appropriate dosage regimen for a particular laxative or supplement, consult with a healthcare provider. They can provide you with personalized advice and ensure that the medication is safe and effective for you.


In conclusion, proper dosage is an essential factor when it comes to taking any medication or supplement, including laxatives. Follow the label instructions and consult with a healthcare provider to ensure safe and effective use. Be mindful of the risks of improper dosage, and always prioritize your health and wellness.

The Different Types of Laxatives

Bulk-Forming Laxatives

Bulk-forming laxatives are agents that work by swelling up within the intestines, which encourages the bowel to move. These types of laxatives contain insoluble fibers that help increase bulk and soften stools. Brands like Metamucil and Citrucel are common bulk-forming laxatives. They are considered safe for long-term use, but it is important to drink plenty of water when using bulk-forming laxatives to avoid dehydration.

Stimulant Laxatives

Stimulant laxatives are another type of laxative that works by causing the smooth muscles of the intestines to contract, which encourages bowel movements. Some common brands are Ex-Lax and Senokot. However, these types of laxatives should be used with caution as they can be habit-forming and may cause dependence over time. Prolonged use of stimulant laxatives can also cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Osmotic Laxatives

Osmotic laxatives work by drawing water into the intestines, which helps soften and bulk up the stool. Some common brands are Milk of Magnesia and Miralax. They are considered safe for short-term use, but prolonged use can cause dependency and electrolyte imbalances. It is important to drink plenty of water when using osmotic laxatives to avoid dehydration.

Lubricant Laxatives

Lubricant laxatives work by coating the stool and intestinal lining, which helps the stool move more easily. These types are generally considered safe for short-term use, but should not be used over a prolonged period of time. Brands such as mineral oil and fleet are typical lubricant laxatives.

Stool Softeners

Stool softeners work by helping the stool absorb more water, which makes it easier to pass. These laxatives are typically used for short-term relief of constipation after surgery or childbirth. Brands like Colace and Surfak are common stool softeners. They are generally considered safe when used for brief intervals.

The Pros and Cons of Gummy Laxatives


  • Easy to swallow: Gummy laxatives are a great option for those who struggle to swallow pills. The chewy texture and fruity flavor make them more appealing than traditional laxatives in pill form.
  • No unpleasant taste: Unlike liquid laxatives, gummy laxatives do not have a strong, unpleasant taste that many find difficult to stomach.
  • Convenient: Gummy laxatives are easy to take on-the-go and do not require any preparation before use.


  • Potential for abuse: Gummy laxatives can be mistaken for candy and may be taken in excess by those looking to induce weight loss or purge after eating.
  • Not as effective: Gummy laxatives may not be as effective as traditional laxatives, as the dose is lower and the ingredients are often gentler.
  • Sugar content: Gummy laxatives may contain a high amount of sugar, which can be a concern for those with diabetes or other health issues.

Overall, gummy laxatives can be a convenient and enjoyable option for those who struggle to take traditional pill form laxatives. However, it is important to use them responsibly and not to rely on them as a regular means of maintaining bowel regularity. As with any medication, it is important to discuss the use of gummy laxatives with a healthcare provider before beginning their use.

The Trending Popularity of Gummy Laxatives


Gummy laxatives have become increasingly popular in recent years as an alternative to traditional tablets and capsules. These colorful, chewy supplements offer a fun and tasty way for people to improve their digestive health.

Benefits of Gummy Laxatives

One of the main benefits of gummy laxatives is their ease of use. They don’t require water or swallowing, which can make them more convenient for people who have difficulty swallowing pills. They are also available in a variety of flavors and colors, making them more appealing to children and adults alike. Additionally, the gelatin and pectin used to make gummy laxatives may have prebiotic properties that can promote healthy gut bacteria.

Ingredients to Look for

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When choosing a gummy laxative, it’s important to look for safe and effective ingredients. Some popular ingredients include senna leaf extract, a natural laxative, and magnesium citrate, which can also help relieve constipation. However, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, as some ingredients may not be appropriate for certain individuals or medical conditions.


Overall, the rise in popularity of gummy laxatives highlights a growing interest in digestive health and wellness. While they may not be suitable for everyone, these supplements offer a fun and tasty way to support a healthy digestive system. As always, it’s important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

The Potential Risks and Side Effects

Gastrointestinal Issues

Consuming excessive amounts of gummy bears that contain laxative ingredients may cause various gastrointestinal issues. These can include bloating, cramping, gas, nausea, and diarrhea. The laxative ingredients can stimulate the digestive system and cause the body to lose fluids too quickly, which can lead to dehydration.

Electrolyte Imbalance

The rapid loss of fluids due to consuming gummy bears with laxative ingredients can also cause an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are essential minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium, which help regulate many bodily functions. If too many electrolytes are lost too quickly, it can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, headaches, and even seizures in severe cases.



As mentioned before, the laxative ingredients in gummy bears can cause the body to lose fluids too quickly, leading to dehydration. Dehydration can cause various symptoms like headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, and altered mood. In severe cases, it can lead to confusion, seizures, and even death.

Other Possible Risks

Apart from the above-mentioned side effects, consuming excessive amounts of gummy bears can also pose other health risks. For example, regular consumption can lead to weight gain and tooth decay due to the high sugar content. Moreover, certain types of laxatives used in gummy bears can cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

Overall, while gummy bears with laxative ingredients can offer temporary relief for constipation, it is crucial to be mindful of the potential risks and side effects associated with their consumption. It is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before using laxatives or any other product that may affect your health.

The Comparison to Traditional Laxatives

Different Mechanism of Action

Traditional laxatives usually work by irritating the lining of the intestines or by attracting water into the bowels to help soften the stool and promote bowel movements. Gummy bear laxatives, on the other hand, contain polyols such as sorbitol and mannitol that have a natural laxative effect and can also draw water into the intestines to help stimulate bowel movements.

Different Timing of Effects

Traditional laxatives may take several hours, or even days, to show their effects, depending on the type of laxative used and the severity of constipation. In contrast, gummy bear laxatives can work much faster, typically within an hour after consumption.

Different Side Effects

Traditional laxatives, especially stimulant medications, can cause side effects such as cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. Gummy bear laxatives can also cause these side effects, but they are generally milder and less frequent. Additionally, because they contain sugar alcohols, consuming large amounts of gummy bear laxatives can cause nausea, gas, and stomach upset.

Cost and Accessibility

Traditional laxatives are widely available over-the-counter in various forms, including tablets, capsules, liquids, and suppositories. They are also relatively inexpensive, with prices ranging from a few cents to a few dollars per dose. Gummy bear laxatives, on the other hand, tend to be more expensive, costing several dollars or more per pack. They are also less widely available and may be found only in specialty stores or online retailers.

The Over-the-Counter Availability

What Does Over-the-Counter Mean?

Over-the-counter (OTC) refers to medicines that are available without a prescription from a healthcare professional. They can be purchased directly by the consumer from drugstores, supermarkets, and other retailers. OTC medicines are typically used to treat common health concerns, such as headaches, colds, coughs, and indigestion.

OTC laxatives and gummy bears fall into this category and can be found in almost any drugstore or grocery store in the United States. They are packaged in brightly colored boxes or bags and are easy to locate on the shelves.

Why Are They Available Without a Prescription?

OTC medicines are generally considered safe when used as directed. They have been evaluated for safety and efficacy by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are labeled with specific instructions for use. Because they are readily available, consumers can treat minor health problems without having to wait for a doctor’s appointment or prescription. This also saves time and money for both the consumer and the healthcare system overall.

What Are the Risks of Overuse or Misuse?

While OTC laxatives and gummy bears are generally safe when taken as directed, overuse or misuse can lead to health problems. Laxatives, for example, may cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and bowel dependency if used too frequently. Similarly, excessive consumption of gummy bears that contain sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal discomfort.

It is important for consumers to read the labels carefully and follow the instructions for use. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The Affordable Price Range


Gummy bears are often packaged in small bags and are priced affordably, making them a fun treat for kids and adults alike. While the price range may differ depending on the brand and location, gummy bears are generally considered a cheap snack that is easily accessible to most people.

Comparing Prices

When comparing the price of gummy bears to other snacks, their affordability becomes even more apparent. For example, a bag of chips or a candy bar may cost several times more than a package of gummy bears of the same weight. This makes gummy bears a great option for those on a budget or looking for a quick, inexpensive snack.

Variety of Sizes and Brands

In addition to their affordability, gummy bears also come in a variety of sizes and brands. Generic store-brand gummy bears are often cheaper than name-brand options, but higher-end gummy bear brands also exist for those willing to spend a bit more. These options make it easy for consumers to find a price point that works for their budget.


Overall, the affordable price range of gummy bears makes them a fun and accessible snack for people of all ages. Whether you’re grabbing a bag at the gas station or stocking up on a bulk order, gummy bears are an affordable treat that are hard to resist.

The Consumer Reviews and Ratings

Positive Reviews

The majority of consumers who have tried the gummy bear laxatives have left positive reviews. Many of them have praised the taste of the gummies, with some even comparing it to regular gummy bears. Some have also noted that the laxative effect is gentle and effective, providing relief without causing any discomfort.

One customer wrote, “These gummy bears taste great and really do the trick. I never thought taking a laxative could be so enjoyable!” Another reviewer added, “I was skeptical at first, but these gummies turned out to be a game-changer. They work quickly and are easy to take.”

  • Taste is great
  • Laxative effect is gentle and effective
  • Quick and easy to take

Negative Reviews

Despite the positive reviews, there are also some consumers who have had negative experiences with the gummy bear laxatives. Some have reported gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea, while others have noted that the laxative effect was too strong and caused discomfort.

One dissatisfied customer wrote, “I took these gummies and ended up with painful cramps and diarrhea. I would not recommend them to anyone.” Another echoed this sentiment, saying, “These gummies did not work for me at all. In fact, they made me feel worse.”

  • Cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea
  • Laxative effect is too strong and causes discomfort
  • Did not work for some users
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Overall Rating

Despite the mixed reviews, the gummy bear laxatives have received an overall rating of three stars out of five. While some consumers have had positive experiences with the product, others have had negative experiences. It is important for individuals to consult with their healthcare provider before trying any new medications or supplements, including laxatives.

Pros Cons
Taste great Cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea
Laxative effect is gentle and effective Laxative effect is too strong and causes discomfort
Quick and easy to take Did not work for some users

The Advice of Medical Professionals

Consult a Doctor

If you are experiencing chronic constipation or have concerns about your digestive health, it is important to consult a medical professional. Your doctor can help diagnose any underlying conditions and recommend appropriate treatment options.

Be Mindful of Your Diet

Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help regulate your digestive system and prevent constipation. It is also important to stay hydrated and limit consumption of processed foods and sugary snacks.

  • Include high-fiber foods like beans, lentils, and bran cereal in your diet.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid consuming excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol.

Use Laxatives Sparingly

While laxatives can provide relief from occasional constipation, they should be used sparingly and under the guidance of a medical professional. Overuse of laxatives can lead to dependency and damage to the digestive system.

Remember, it is important to prioritize your digestive health and seek professional advice if you have any concerns.

The Precautions for Children and Pregnant Women


While gummy bears are generally safe for consumption, parents should be cautious when giving them to young children. Gummy bears can be a choking hazard if not chewed properly, so make sure your child is old enough to handle chewing before giving them gummy bears.

Additionally, gummy bears contain sugar and can be damaging to children’s teeth if consumed in excess. Be sure to limit your child’s intake of gummy bears and other sugary treats.

Pregnant Women

Pregnant women should also use caution when consuming gummy bears. While they are generally safe to consume in moderation, some gummy bears may contain high levels of vitamin A or iron, which can be harmful to pregnant women in large amounts.

Furthermore, if you are experiencing constipation during pregnancy, consuming laxative gummy bears may not be the best solution. Instead, speak with your healthcare provider about safe and effective ways to relieve constipation.

The Future of Gummy Laxatives

Increasing Popularity

Gummy laxatives have been gaining popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional laxatives in pill or liquid form. The convenience of a tasty gummy makes it easier to remember to take medication as prescribed, especially for those who dislike swallowing pills. Furthermore, gummy laxatives are available over-the-counter, making them accessible to anyone who needs them.

New Innovations

The gummy laxative market is still relatively new, with limited options in terms of dosage and active ingredients. However, there is potential for innovation in this field. Companies may develop new formulations that address specific digestive issues, such as constipation, gas, or bloating. Additionally, gummy laxatives could potentially be made with prebiotics or probiotics to improve gut health.

Market Growth

The global market for digestive health products is projected to grow in the coming years. This growth is due, in part, to a rising awareness of the importance of digestive health. As the demand for digestive health products increases, companies may invest more in researching and developing new gummy laxatives.

  • Increased Convenience
  • Improved Taste
  • More Options for Dosage and Ingredients
  • Potential for Innovation with Probiotics and Prebiotics
Pros Cons
Easy to swallow Limited dosage options
Tasty May not work as quickly as liquid or pill forms
Available over-the-counter Not suitable for those with sugar restrictions

In conclusion, the future of gummy laxatives looks bright as the market for digestive health products continues to grow. With potential for new innovations and improvements in taste and convenience, gummy laxatives may become an increasingly popular form of medication for people with digestive issues.

Questions and Answers:

What makes gummy bears act as laxatives?

Gummy bears act as laxatives due to the excessive amounts of sugar alcohols, like xylitol and sorbitol, which are poorly absorbed in our small intestines and attract water from the intestinal walls, causing diarrhea.

Can gummy bears cause any long-term harm to our digestive system?

Consuming large amounts of sugar alcohols, like those found in gummy bears, on a regular basis can damage the lining of our intestines, leading to chronic inflammation and other digestive health problems, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and leaky gut syndrome.

Are there any types of gummy bears that are safe for consumption?

Yes, there are gummy bears available that are made with natural sweeteners, like stevia and erythritol, instead of sugar alcohols. These types of gummy bears are considered safe for consumption in moderation and are also suitable for people with diabetes or other sugar-related health problems.


Julia Robinson

As a woman, I found the article “What Gummy Bears Have in Common with Laxatives” to be quite interesting and informative. I had no idea that certain types of gummy candies could have a laxative effect if consumed in excess. This information is particularly important for those who may have digestive issues or are prone to stomach upset. I appreciate the scientific explanation of how these gummy candies work, and it has made me more mindful of my own candy consumption. It is also important to note that while these laxative effects may be uncomfortable, they are typically not harmful unless consumed in extremely large quantities. Overall, this article is a great reminder to always be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies and to be aware of any potential side effects. As someone who enjoys gummy candy, I will definitely be keeping this information in mind in the future. Thank you for the informative article!

Mark Johnson

As a male reader, I found the article “What Gummy Bears Have in Common with Laxatives” to be quite informative. It’s fascinating to learn that some ingredients in gummy bears, such as maltitol and sorbitol, can have a laxative effect if consumed in large amounts. It’s a good reminder to always read the labels on our favorite candy treats and be mindful of the potential consequences of overindulging. The article also highlights the importance of moderation and balance in our diets. Overall, I found this article to be a useful and interesting read.

Paul Smith

As a male reader, I found the article “What Gummy Bears Have in Common with Laxatives” extremely interesting. It’s alarming to know that something as innocent as gummy bears could have such a negative effect on our bodies. The fact that many manufacturers use the same ingredient, sorbitol, in both gummy bears and laxatives is concerning. It makes me wonder what other products contain this ingredient without us even realizing it. It’s great to know that there are alternatives to sorbitol that can be used in gummy bears, such as xylitol. It’s important for us as consumers to be aware of the ingredients in the products we consume and to make informed decisions about what we put in our bodies. Overall, this article sheds light on an important issue and brings attention to the potential health risks associated with consuming certain products. It’s a wake-up call for all of us to pay closer attention to the ingredients in the food we eat.