Read This Before Eating Haribo Sugar-Free Gummy Bears

It's no secret that sugar is not the best thing for us. This study published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews Journal demonstrated that sugar can elicit similar responses as drug reward and addiction mechanisms in research conducted on animal subjects. The increasing demonization of sugar is for good reason, Harvard Health writes that "effects of added sugar intake — higher blood pressure, inflammation, weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease — are all linked to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke." 

It's no wonder food companies have been searching for new ways to replace sugar in their products, but sugar-free doesn't always necessarily mean better for you, a case that is especially true with the Haribo sugar-free gummy bears. According to Forbes, Haribo replaced the sugar in their bears with Lycasin, which is comprised mostly of sugar alcohol. While this eliminates a lot of the calories that come from sugar, it also adds in a lot of unpleasant side effects.

Less sugar, more "intestinal power washing"

Lycasin, the sugar replacement in the gummy bears, is mostly comprised of maltitol, which our bodies can't fully digest (via Forbes). The result is a lot of discomfort, and, as one Amazon reviewer put it, a "power wash [for] your intestines" (via Buzzfeed). The reviews are seemingly endless, with people from all around the country coming to the product's Amazon page to lament in agony together. Words like "Dante's Inferno," "Upside down volcano," and "Streams of fire" are used to describe the sensations people experienced in their colon after consuming these gummy bears. 

The detailed reviews continue with paragraphs of horrific descriptions of each person's experience, culminating to form one singular truth — avoid these gummy bears at all costs, unless you're intentionally seeking out a powerful laxative. Fortunately, the company has since discontinued these intestinal havoc-wreaking candies, but the lesson remains the same — have caution when reaching for a sugar-free option, you never know what effects those sugar replacements may have.