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Vegetable Glycerine

Vegetable Glycerine

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  • Summary
  • Side Effects
  • Other Names
  • Uses
  • Details

Vegetable Glycerine Overview

Vegetable glycerin can be found on labels of everything from granola bars to toothpaste. It is even showing up in health foods and all natural beauty products. This is because it is a carbohydrate derived from plant oils with many useful properties.

Vegetable glycerin, also known as glycerol, is odorless, clear syrup with a sweet taste. It is used as a food additive, has no nutritional value, and is regarded as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

Cosmetics and skin care products can also contain vegetable glycerin. Considered to be an earth friendly or green product more manufactures are using it. Vegetable glycerin is also hypoallergenic and safe to use on acne. Topical ointments to treat skin ailments often contain glycerin.

Although vegetable glycerin is not considered a supplement it is a powerful solvent. Herbalists use it when preparing remedies in place of alcohol because it can make bitter herbal tonics taste more pleasant.

Potential Vegetable Glycerine Side Effects

  • None Known

Other Names for Vegetable Glycerine

Glycerol, Glycerin, 1,2,3-propanetriol

Vegetable Glycerine Nutritional Uses

  • Skin Conditions
  • Skin Moisturizer
  • Sweetener
  • Hair Product Additive
  • Halitosis
  • Hyper-Hydration
  • Oral Health
  • Skin Care Additive

Vegetable Glycerin as a Sweetener

Sixty percent sweeter than ordinary table sugar, vegetable glycerin is great sugar substitute. Low carb products use it to retain moisture and sweetness because vegetable glycerin has a low glycemic index.

Because vegetable glycerin is metabolized differently than sugar, it does not raise blood sugar levels. This makes it a suitable sweetener for diabetics. It is also approved for people on the Candida diet.

Oral Health Uses for Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin has the ability to sweeten without contributing to bacterial tooth decay. This makes it ideal for toothpastes and mouthwashes. In addition to its sweet properties vegetable glycerin also helps keep toothpaste smooth and prevents it from drying out.

In the 1990’s a chemistry researcher by the name of Dr. Gerald Judd published a book that claimed using toothpastes with glycerin prevented tooth remineralization. To date there are no studies that prove or disprove this claim.

The LiveStrong Foundation published an article on how to make a mouthwash with vegetable glycerin to counteract halitosis (bad breath) caused by fasting. When a person fasts their body releases ketones into the blood.

Ketones are a byproduct of metabolized fats and similar to ammonia. They can give the breath an overly sweet and sickly smell.

Vegetable Glycerin and Skin Care

Soaps and lotions have relied on vegetable glycerin for years. It is cheap, all natural, and hypoallergenic. It helps skin stay soft and retain moisture.

Glycerin also creates a barrier on skin to protect it from environmental stressors. Vegetable glycerin is suitable for even sensitive skin.

A variety of topical ointments also contain vegetable glycerin because it provides a nice base. These ointments can be used to treat conditions such as burns, cuts, psoriasis, rashes, and bedsores.

Vegetable glycerin is also widely available and easily accessible. This makes it an ideal product for people who wish to make their own soaps and lotions.

While vegetable glycerin is great for the skin it should never be applied directly to the skin. It must be formulated into soap or lotion. Applying vegetable glycerin directly to the skin can cause it to become overly dry and even blister.

Hair Products Containing Vegetable Glycerin

More hair care products and styling aids are popping up with vegetable glycerin in them. The same properties that make vegetable glycein great for your skin make it desirable for your hair as well.

Vegetable glycerin can actually smooth and protect the hair cuticle. It controls frizz and split ends as well.

Recently it was discovered that vegetable glycerin also worked as a humectant. This means it has the ability to pull moisture out of the environment around it. Vegetable glycerin not only locks moisture into your hair but is constantly replenishing it.

Athletes and Vegetable Glycerin

Endurance athletes add vegetable glycerin to their water prior to a race because it has shown to extend periods of hyper-hydration up to 4 hours. Hyper-hydration is the process of over hydrating the body to counteract high heat and long races. The vegetable glycerin slows the process of the kidneys filtering the water out of the body.

According to Sport Science, in 1997 the US Olympic Committee lifted its ban on vegetable glycerin. It was previously believed that vegetable glycerin was a diuretic.

All diuretics are banned, because they can mask steroid use by flushing the body too fast. Since studies show that vegetable glycerin has the opposite effect, it is now allowed in the Olympics and by sports monitored by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Electronic Cigarettes and Vegetable Glycerin 

Electronic cigarettes are a new rage due to larger numbers of states banning smoking indoors and people wishing to quit. They are a safer alternative because they do not contain tar.

Vegetable glycerin is mixed with the water and nicotine in the cartridges. Vegetable glycerin acts as a base and allows the nicotine to be delivered to the body, instead of being lost in the water vapor. Vegetable glycerin is safe to inhale and poses no additional health risks.

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