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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Warning: T.M.I.

I'm always on the look-out for new and interesting stuff to snack on that doesn't have a lot of carbs.  The other day I was at the store and happened to notice a little round tin of candies in the impulse rack next to the cash register.  I wish I hadn't.

Be Right Back.




Sorry about that... anyway as I was saying, this candy came in a colorful circular tin and went by the catchy name:

Klipp Klapp ... der magische Verschluss (the magic lock)

          ACE-FIT DROPS

Bonbons Aux Vitamines A C E

How could I resist?  Three languages... three vitamins and a magic lock (whatever that is) to boot!  The clincher was looking at the side of the tin and seeing that it contained no sugar whatsoever and was, instead, sweetened with something called 'Isomalt'.

Now, I don't know much about sweeteners, but, um... Be Right Back!




Like I was saying, I don't know much about sweeteners, but if there's no sugar in there it's gotta be OK, right.  RIGHT?!!

Um, now that I'm lying here next to my desk in the fetal position I'm guessing I should have maybe, kinda, sorta taken a moment to look up 'Isomalt' before popping these things like, well, candy. 

Here's the belated wisdom, courtesy of Wikipedia:

"[Isomalt] has only a small impact on blood sugar levels, does not promote tooth decay, and has one half the calories of sugar. However, like most sugar alcohols, it carries a very real risk of gastric distress, including flatulence and diarrhea, when consumed in large quantities." [emphasis mine]

I don't know what constitutes 'large quantities' over at Wikipedia, but I had like 8 or 10 of these little orange sucking candies over the course of the morning and the results have been, well, dramatic.  The only thing that might have enhanced the overall affect would have been the presence of a heavy sedative in the ingredients so that I could pass out and lose all control of my bodily functions!





Oh G-d make it stop!

I think know the pretty electrical engineer whose desk is next to the bathroom is never going to be able to look at me the same way again.  The first couple of times I forced myself to believe that nobody could hear the motorboat sounds what was going on in there... but walking out this time, I could see written on her face a silent plea not to make eye contact.  Ever.  Again.

What the hell is this Isomalt, and why haven't I ever heard of it???  Is this like the Olestra of the Atkins crowd?  At least with Olestra there was that helpful warning on the label (again, thanks to Wikipedia):

"This Product Contains Olestra. Olestra may cause abdominal cramping and loose stools. Olestra inhibits the absorption of some vitamins and other nutrients. Vitamins A, D, E, and K have been added."

As a follow up, the Wiki people helpfully point out "This condition became popularly known as "anal leakage", though those words never actually appeared on the label."   

Shyeah, I think the words 'loose stools' appearing on food packaging is pretty much all a consumer would need to read... er, BRB




Look, a word to the wise.  Stay away from 'Klipp Klapp ACE-FIT' (more like A$$-FIT) candies... and for G-d sakes, stay the hell away from anything containing Isomalt.  Unless, of course, you enjoy feeling like that guy in the movie 'Alien' just before the space monster came poking out of his stomach!

Uh, I gotta run...


Posted by David Bogner on May 22, 2007 | Permalink


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When people tell me that sugar substitutes help them lose weight I always wonder if this is what they mean...

With prayers for a speedy recovery.


Posted by: Talmida | May 22, 2007 2:56:54 AM

My mom's boss used to sell chocolates that were sweetened with isomalt. We had a box in the fridge, and I ate like 9. They were dam good, I know how u feel.

Refuah Shleima

Posted by: Ed | May 22, 2007 4:24:53 AM

A Mighty Wind's a-blowin, you say?

Posted by: Bob | May 22, 2007 4:50:19 AM

That explains it!!! Last winter I tried a local store brand sugar free cough drop (black cherry flavor). I noticed dramatic increase in bathroom time after using the drops. After reading your post, I pulled out the bag (kept one in my briefcase). It does have isomalt in it! I guess I have a low tolerance, because after my second cough drop in the morning, I'm always heading for the bathroom. Now I know what to look for and avoid in the ingredients. Thanks for sharing the source of your discomfort, now I know how to avoid mine.

Posted by: JDMDad | May 22, 2007 5:00:08 AM

How long is the drive from Be'er Sheba to Efrat?


You have no shame, do you?


Posted by: K Newman | May 22, 2007 5:55:16 AM

BTW David, that reminds me of a sea story....a true one, even.

This is no....well, you know. No pun intended, either.

Back when I was on Ustafish, the wife of one of the Sonarmen made some Toll House cookies for the inport duty section. So he took them down to the boat on his next duty day, where they were consumed by the Duty Chief and another ST before anyone else could have any. So....he decided to fix them.

Next duty day, another batch of cookies made their way down to the boat, where they were promptly devoured by the same two guys. Except this time, the chocolate morsels had been replaced with chocolate Ex-Lax. Now this wasn't too much of a problem for the Duty Chief since, being a Chief, he had freedom of movement. So he moved right on down to the Chief's head. OTOH, the STS3 was standing Petty Officer of the Deck up on the pier when the Ex-Lax kicked in. He was calling down below in desperation, trying to get someone to come topside to relieve him for a head break.

It couldn't of happened to two more deserving guys.

Posted by: K Newman | May 22, 2007 6:30:27 AM

Heh. Couple of years ago, the Missus discovered the remarkable laxative properties of maltitol when she ate half a sack of sugar-free chocolate coated cherries. Gotta watch those sugar alcohols...sure, they're moderately effective sweeteners, but they are also the main ingredient in Baby Laxative...

Here's wishing you a repooah sh'leimah...

Posted by: Elisson | May 22, 2007 7:01:13 AM

The bigger tragedy here is the hottie sitting next to the mens' bathroom. Ain't that always the truth? Good luck with THAT.

Posted by: Benji | May 22, 2007 7:36:04 AM

I'd make some crack about crappy posts, but I have written a few more than a few of those. Stink you later. ;)

Feel better.

Posted by: Jack | May 22, 2007 8:34:24 AM

Wow, when you promise T.M.I. you sure know how to deliver :)

I hope you're feeling better and that you have a good hag.

Posted by: Simon | May 22, 2007 9:46:41 AM

Refuah sheleimah.

And to think, Ari was innocently playing with that candy tin at dinner two nights ago...

Chag Sameach to the entire mishpacha.

Posted by: tnspr569 | May 22, 2007 9:56:39 AM

Good luck piling on the dairy after this debacle!

Posted by: RaggedyMom | May 22, 2007 2:27:29 PM

Oy - TMI indeed! :-)

And right on the eve of a dairy feast....shame.

Refuah shelamah.

Chag sameach to you and yours.

Posted by: orieyenta | May 22, 2007 4:18:42 PM

Poops.. I mean .. Oops.. Hope you feel well soon and thanks for the warning. Isomalt is now definitely on my blacklist!

Posted by: sillybahrainigirl | May 22, 2007 5:04:01 PM

Oh, no. You've got heinous anus.

Before the advent of reasonable tasting sugar substitutes, a lot of sugar-free gum had basically non-absorbable sugars that tasted sweet but could not be absorbed by your intestines. The result is that the bacteria in your colon digest them instead, producing a whole lot of gas and water. But just think of all the calories you've avoided!

You're probably already feeling better, and you got a great post out of it. If you want me to talk to your pretty coworker to smooth things over, let me know.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | May 22, 2007 5:15:51 PM

I'm in tears in front of my computer, at work and hoping that nobody will pop in my office right now! I love your writings, David ! Thanks for making me laugh (aye! my stomach hurts!!) once again.

Posted by: Jany | May 22, 2007 5:51:20 PM

Oh you poor guy!!!
That's really awful but still so funny.
Thanks for being a sport and sharing even in your darkest hour.

I hope it ummm... passes?... soon.

Posted by: Shifra | May 22, 2007 7:10:48 PM

Crikey! Isomalt???

You didn't know it is used as a laxative?

Holy cow. You poor thing.

Many of the artificial sweeteners have the same effect. Splenda and Erythritol are the "safest" ones when it comes to intestinal distress.. but hey, look at it this way, you just gave yourself a very tasty colonic.

Buaahaaaahaahaa (I'm so evil)

Posted by: Tracey | May 22, 2007 7:25:25 PM

Hi David AKA Trep,

My stomach hurts from laughing so much at your post. OY! OY GEVALT!

My personal weakness are those chocolate dipped Altoids they make, whether the cinnamon or ginger ones, or covered in milk or dark chocolate.

And even worse is that I discovered what a "chocolate fountain" was this weekend. I posted photo of it over at my blog. Trust me, stay away from "chocolate fountains!"

All the best to you and yours!


Posted by: Maksim-Smelchak | May 22, 2007 8:03:10 PM

O.K., I'm not one who usually laughs at my computer screen, but that made me laugh.

Posted by: Jersey Boy | May 22, 2007 9:19:32 PM

Oh lordy oh my!


And bangin on my desk.


Ooop! Oooop! Ooop!!!

Posted by: Back of the Hill | May 23, 2007 3:22:37 AM

Mmmm, I'm also addicted to the chocolate dipped cinnamon Altoids. Damn, how does anyone just eat one? I also mean to share the tin, but I usually can't. I'm relieved (heh) that my sugar addiction is for sugar, and not sugar substitutes. Phew.

I looked up the candy you were talking about, because I'm always a sucker for new candy. If it's new at the store, I have to try it. I wanted to know what to avoid. I had Google auto-translate the German for me, and it's actually kind of funny. Well, funny for me, since I work at home, and I'm the person closest to the bathroom, if you don't count the dog.

"ISOMALT drops dissolve more slowly than zuckerhaltige products and have so longer time, their do good-end effect to unfold on the spot and taste simply longer good.

ISO-PAINTED is absolutely tooth friendly and although it replaces the sugar in the relationship 1:1, ISOMALT products are clearly calorie-poorer. With an extremely low glykämischen index of „2 “it affects as well as not on the blood sugar mirror and is suitable for health-conscious consumers in the best way. "

I guess that you might disagree that it was suitable for you "in the best way."

I hope you're feeling better. Perhaps you should print out a copy of this entry and put it on your co-worker's desk. No need to discuss it, but I'm sure she'd understand.

Posted by: Flippy | May 23, 2007 5:14:57 AM

you're very funny when you are...um... well you know.

Posted by: weese | May 23, 2007 8:08:09 PM

Have you been spending time in LA recently, because you sure sound like Jack.

David, uh EWWW! I think I will come back to visit another day when I know the visuals and scents I will be experiencing, will hopefully be pleasant.

(you know how folks in the past have suggested you add a tissue symbol to inform your readers of a tear jerker, I think posts like these, need a little crapper at the end of the title, IMHO.)

Posted by: jaime | May 23, 2007 11:49:19 PM

butt wipes would totally help :)

Posted by: no milk | May 24, 2007 6:00:27 AM

Talmida... I doubt that's what they mean, but it does seem fitting. :-)

Ed... Seriously, what is that? Do the manufacturers really expect us to limit ourselves with snack foods? Isn't the whole point of snack foods to overindulge? Sheesh!

Bob... I'm ashamed to admit I haven't see that film yet. I have seen most of their other movies and love that kind of humor. I'll have to put it on my wish list of DVD's to pick up this summer.

JDMDad... Happy to serve as a cautionary tale. :-)

K Newman... That Ex-Lax revenge sea story has been around for ages... on both surface ships and targets. While I doubt that it was ever actually done, there was no lack of people who richly deserved such a fate (as you pointed out). :-)

Elisson... I don't know which is worse, your terrible pun or the fact that one of the few chemical engineers I know who blogs didn't warn the rest of us about this clear and present danger!

Benji... You know, I'm really not sure why it should be more humiliating that the girl next to the can is a cutie... but it is. Go figure.

Jack... Thanks. Your reputation precedes you (see Jaime's comment). :-)

Simon... Never let it be said that I don't live up to my billing! :-)

tnspr569... Like leaving a loaded gun around. Yikes! :-)

RaggedyMom... Luckily I made a swift recovery and was able to enjoy the holiday. But that was something I NEVER want to experience again! :-)

orieyenta... Thanks. So far so good. :-)

sillybahrainigirl... As well it should be! I'd be curious to know what the selection of diet products is like over there in your country.

Doctor Bean... Who knew there was such a technical medical term for my condition?! :-)

Jany... always happy to take a pie in the face for your enjoyment (so long as it doesn't have any suspect artificial sweeteners, that is). :-)

Shifra... Oy, you too with the puns. Thanks. :-)

Tracey... Boy, 'tasty' and 'colonic' are two words you sure never expect to see next to one another! :-)

Maksim-Smelchak... I'm told the plain Cinnamon ones are to die for (I LOOOOVE cinnamon).

Jersey Boy... Anything for my friends! :-)

Back of the Hill... Your sympathy is touching. ;-)

Flippy... I think 'good end effect' might have more than one meaning... what do you think? :-)

weese... Hey, sometimes if you don't laugh you gotta cry, right? :-)

jaime... I'll try to clean up my act. Sorry. :-)

no-milk... Your site is banned at my office (congrats!), so I'll have to check that out later. :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | May 24, 2007 11:00:47 AM

Yep....except it actually happened. Ya see, our crew was pretty small and I knew these guys personally. It was also the duty section that relieved mine. Word of this also got out into the wives' grapevine.

Whatever....that's my story and I'm stickin' to it. :)

Posted by: K Newman | May 24, 2007 12:09:47 PM

what???? my blog is banned at your office!!!?! how exciting!

Posted by: no milk | May 24, 2007 5:20:33 PM

Have you been spending time in LA recently, because you sure sound like Jack.

What a lucky man. For the low price of $9.99 I can send you the basic How to be Like Jack kit.

Posted by: Jack | May 24, 2007 6:09:07 PM

Klipp Klapp ... Isomalt...

Thanks for the tip. I shall make it a habit to keep a jar of the stuff in the office. For some selected guests, you know.

Posted by: SnoopyTheGoon | May 24, 2007 8:55:16 PM

Well, it wasn't an ex-lax at sea, but at college we did use melted chocolate ex-lax on someone's birthday cake (only a specific corner of the cake which was subtly marked). Problem was that the guy was a weight lifter, and really dehydrated himself the next day. But then again, after the stunt he pulled...

Posted by: JDMDad | May 25, 2007 10:53:56 PM

ack, feel better (and eat more carefully)! i hope you're having a healthy shabbat!

Posted by: Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) | May 26, 2007 1:25:13 AM

SO, more TMI for you:
When I was pregnant I read a little article that cited a study that women who ate chocolate daily while they were pregnant had children who were generally more amiable and even-tempered. Well, even if it was a load of bunk, that sounded like an excellent reason to me to eat chocolate while I was pregnant.
So I proceeded to ration myself a well, small is relative, I suppose, portion of choolate daily. Somewhere around the middle of the pregnancy my doctor started worrying about pregnancy induced diabetes, which can be a big problem. Running borderline diabetes while under stressfull physical conditions seems to run in the family, but in any case, I was close enough to borderline that they decided to drastically reduce the sugar in my diet (up until then, I had always thought that yogurt was good for you. Do you know how much sugar even unflavored yogurt has?).
So, accordingly, I needed to cut back on my chocolate intake, but no, I couldn't give up on my chocolate sweetie child, so I thought I would try some of those diabetic chocolates and see if they were any good. Most of them were awful. I mean really awful; but one brand was pretty good (especially the dark chocolate, which has less sugar to start with). Sweetened by some sort of isomalt, the label did warn one not to eat too much because of the "laxative effect" (and thankfully I suppose for diabetics, this chocolate brand did indeed warn you pretty bluntly). But you know what? One of the less lovely side effects of pregnancy is constipation. And put that on a level of Yikes!
I had been relying on my mild lactose intolerance to fight this particular problem, but I have to say, chocolate worked just as well. I was very pleased.
And just for the record, the chocolate seems to have worked very well.

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Posted by: Mark Vane | Jun 11, 2007 2:08:53 PM

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